More than 20,000 join vocational schools | New times

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More than 20,000 students who have passed their ordinary-level national exams have been admitted to Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), where they are expected to acquire practical skills from this academic year, in order to boost the employment in the country.

The new school year begins today with thousands of students showing up to their respective schools according to the schedule announced last week by the Department of Education.

Students wait for buses at Nyabugogo bus station. Timothy Kisambira

School reports for elementary, secondary and TVET students began on Friday last week, depending on the location of the school.

Speaking to the New Times on Friday last week, Jerome Gasana, chief executive of the Workforce Development Authority (WDA), said there was a high demand for TVET schools this year.

He said some students who applied to join TVET schools were left out because the available schools could not absorb them all.

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Parents escort their children to Nyabugogo bus station. Timothy Kisambira

“The demand is very strong, we have admitted 20,000 but we have received nearly 37,000 applications, the number is high even though we do not have enough schools,” he said.

He said that initially public TVET schools could accommodate 15,000 people and that the recent agreement with the government to allow some private technical schools to admit students who passed national O’Level exams has increased. the number of admissions.

More than 5,600 have enrolled in private technical schools and will pay the same fees as their counterparts offering similar courses in public schools.

Gasana said the plan is to continue working with private schools to enroll more students while more schools offering formal education are transformed into TVET schools.

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Many students appeared to be stranded in Nyabugogo bus station as buses became scarce. Timothy Kisambira

He added that the government will also build more schools to increase access while some trainees would be able to acquire practical skills under the industrial training system.

“Some schools offering formal education will be transformed into TVET centers and we will continue to work with private schools to enroll more students; another thing we will do is promote industry-based trainings where people can learn skills in a work environment, ”Gasana added.

The government’s decision to work with private TVET schools is expected to spur the government’s attempt to ensure that TVET accounts for at least 60 percent of total student enrollment in the country.

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A student finds himself stranded at the Nyabugogo bus station. Timothy Kisambira

Under the deal, private schools will charge the same tuition fees as public schools offering similar courses, while the government will commit to extending the same level of support to public schools to these schools, officials say. .

The government has set itself an ambitious target of creating 1.5 million jobs over the next seven years and there is a need to train more people in various forms of TVET who would later work in the private sector and small businesses. and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as large enterprises.

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A student carrying her luggage looks for a bus at Nyabugogp bus station. Timothy Kisambira

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