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Information on TVET in Uganda

TVET System

Attitudes towards vocational education have changed a little over the years. Although it is still the wish of nearly all parents to get their children a university education, many of them now readily accept the alternative of technical/vocational education when their children do not gain access to the university. Students too, influenced by their parents, teachers and the labor market situation, have become more positive. There still exists a disparity between technical/vocational education and general academic education with no formalized linkages, but it is now possible for students who go to technical or vocational institutions to join the universities at some stage in their career if they want.

There are still people who believe that the aim of technical and vocational education is to provide an outlet for school dropouts, the term ‘drop-out’ being used to describe the group of students who do not join the secondary school path to university. This is partly because of little public understanding that the available secondary schools cannot absorb all those who successfully complete primary school. In fact, the current technical and secondary schools combined cannot absorb all those who complete primary school.

There is yet another group of people who believe that technical/vocational education is a key to survival and should be given to everyone including those who cannot afford to go to school. This is especially illustrated by the missions of many non-governmental organizations that have set up vocational training programs in rural and peri-urban areas. Many youth are engaged in these programs, which are designed according to the individual needs of the particular community within which the NGO operates.

From the national perspective however, the aims and objectives of technical and vocational education in Uganda are:

• To stimulate the technical growth of students in order to make them productive members of the community; and

• To produce craftsmen, technicians and other skilled manpower to meet the demands of industry, agriculture, commerce and the general labor force.


Access to the technical and vocational institutions require a sound science and mathematical background. This has been one of the biggest limiting factors because performance in the two disciplines has usually been poor and so fewer candidates qualify. Sometimes, some of the institutions do not fill up, and the country faces critical shortages of skilled manpower of certain categories like artisans, technicians and associated professionals. Admissions are centralized and the universities admit first. The various technical and vocational institutions absorb the students not admitted by the universities.


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page date 2010-07-01

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