The Ministry of Education and Sports has put a three-year bond on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) instructors who are being sent for offshore training.
Ronald Ssekabembe Kiberu, the Commissioner in Charge of Human Resources at the Education Ministry, said that previously public officers disappeared from service after the government injected huge amounts of money into their training.
Kiberu added that in order to ensure that the intended objective of capacity building and knowledge transfer within the TVET sector takes place, all instructors will be bonded and therefore required to serve a minimum of three years upon returning to the country.
Kiberu made the comments at an event where the ministry was sending 12 instructors for a one-month offshore training at the National Agency for Adult Vocational Training (AFPA)-in France as part of the Uganda Skills Development Project-USDP. The instructors were selected from the Uganda Technical College- Bushenyi and technical institutes in Lake Katwe, Nyamitanga, and Karera.
The government targets to train 160 TVET staff (148 instructors and 12 management supervisors) drawn from over 18 institutions which have been marked as centres of excellence for different technical trades will be trained from different countries including India, France, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Already a total of 89 have completed their training including 26 oil and gas staff from Uganda Petroleum Institute Kigumba who trained from the French Institute of Petroleum.
Available information indicates the ministry will spend a minimum of 160 million Shillings to facilitate the latest group of 12 instructors as they study in France. The commissioner said in the bonding agreement; they have stipulated how the government can force the trainee to repay the money ‘wasted’ on him if he or she fails to meet the contractual terms.
Elizabeth Kateme, the acting commissioner in charge of TVET, said the government has invested in offshore training so as to build a pool of quality national trainers that will reform the TVET curricula from the theoretical training approach to competency-based training of international standards where practicals are given priority.
Kateme added that the training is also meant to expose Ugandan instructors and supervisors to international training standards. After returning from their overseas training, the instructors are expected to become master trainers and assist in designing new programmes for their respective institutions.
Agnes Arach, the USDP coordinator, also shared that in recent years the government has equipped the technical institutions with new equipment and facilities thus a need to put a capable human resource that will put them to good use. She added that the best way to develop human resources is by sponsoring knowledge transfer programmes and twinning arrangements with the best international training institutions.
Dr Safinah Musene, the acting Director in charge of Higher, Technical, vocational education and training who represented the Permanent Secretary, advised that those going should endeavour to utilize their time wisely by attending all the required sessions to grasp all that is being done by the best. She added that upon return the ministry will be demanding accountability from them.
Musene also requested the TVET department at the ministry to come up with a clear strategy to ensure that each of the offshore-trained instructors mentors others to rapidly develop the sector which is expected to propel the country’s development in the coming years.
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