18 November 2009

Uganda: Informal Sector Stars to Get Certificates From Ministry

Kampala — The Ministry of Education and Sport will for the first time recognise and examine people with skills obtained in the informal sector, the Director of Directorate of Industrial Training has revealed.

Mr Henry Okinyal said the move aims at supporting work done by people who failed to get formal education, but consistently do good work. "In our future plans, we intend to conduct some of our assessments in a more flexible manner. We want to start assessing people who obtained skills in the informal sector purposely to provide them with certificates that can assist them in upgrading," Eng. Okinyal said.

Okinyal made the revelation on November 13 while presenting the results of the Occupational Assessment, and Trade Test Examination to the Minister of Higher Education Mwesigwa Rukutana for release.

The examinations were carried out by the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT) from May 25-29 in 34 assessment institutes. A total of 1,541 candidates were registered for the assessment, of which 415 were female and 1,129 were male.

Citing people dealing in welding and fabrication in Katwe, a Kampala suburb, and those doing carpentry and joinery among other trades, Mr Sam Masolo, of DIT said many artisans do fantastic work but they don't have any paper to present in the labour market.

"We need to offer them with certificates they will be presenting in the labour market as well as assisting them in upgrading," he said.

While presenting the occupational assessment results, Eng Okinyal said candidates on average scored 50 per cent and 71 per cent in theory and practicals respectively.

He said 76.4 per cent of the total candidates who sat for the examinations passed.

Examined subjects include Machining and Fitting, Electrical Installation and Fitting, Auto Electrical, Carpentry and Joinery. Others are Catering and Hotel Management, Computer Applications and Secretarial Studies.

Minister Rukutana praised DIT's move saying it would promote on-job training and facilitate upward progression of skilled personnel. "We are strongly advocating for a harmonisation of trained and skilled people," he said. He advised people to embrace technical education courses.

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