22 February 2019

Uganda: Govt to Certify Experienced Dropouts

Kampala — The government through the Ministry of Education and Sports has rolled out a campaign of certifying experienced youth, who dropped out of school but have acquired experience at their places of work.

The exercise, which started with the water plumbers, has now been rolled out to electricians, following the rampant fire outbreaks in some buildings across the country.

The director in the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT) in the ministry, Mr Patrick Byakatonda, said buildings are catching fire due to poor wiring which is usually done by electricians, who have not been doing work professionally.

He said with the ongoing assessment, the ministry will give work passes (practically acquired skills) to those electricians who pass the tests.

"These are the people who dropped out of school and have been working for years without certificates. They are now undergoing assessment and they are going to get what we call 'worker's pass' after we finish measuring their practicals. They will now be able to prove that they are qualified," Mr Byakatonda said.

"This exercise is timely since you have seen buildings catching fire from the blue. It is because the people who have been doing the wiring do not know how to do the work professionally. This should act as a warning to people who have been employing unskilled electricians without certificates," he added.

The exercise, which started last month, has seen more than 100 electricians at Lira Technical Institute in Lira District and Nakawa Vocational Institute in Kampala, assessed.

The more than 50, who were assessed yesterday at Lugogo Vocational Institute, were the third batch.

Mr Byakatonda said majority of electricians have been passing in Level One and Two which indicates that they can work under supervision, while no one has passed in Level Three, which do not call for any supervision.

The above 150 are slated to appear before the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) for more interviews.

Ms Jamila Nabukenya, a Senior Four dropout, said she has been facing a challenge working as an electrician without a permit.

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