The recently-released 2014 examination results for the Uganda Business and Technical Examinations Board (UBTEB) indicated a tremendous improvement from 2013 with technical craft and community polytechnic certificate programmes as the best performed.
The two programmes achieved a pass rate of 97.9 and 97 per cent respectively and it was the first time the board was examining community polytechnic certificate programmes, including those in accounting, commercial livestock production and food preparation.
Overall performance for the 2014 exams increased to 95.8 per cent from 62.5 per cent in 2013. Some 21,378 of candidates were examined. UBTEB Executive Secretary John Twesigye attributed the significant leap in performance to continuous assessment mechanisms.
“Continuous periodic assessment and constant monitoring and inspection of institutes have seen a tremendous improvement in performance of candidates,” said Twesigye, during the release of the results at Embassy house, last week.
He added that the board is currently working to institute a tracer system to track students who graduate to ensure that they are gainfully employed.
Meanwhile, business certificate courses, including those in secretarial information management (CSIM) and business studies registered the lowest pass rate at 79 per cent. Of the 523 candidates that sat for CSIM, 110 have to retake. The programme and the programme’s low pass rate is attributed to poor performance in the shorthand paper.
Since the inception of Business, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (BTVET) in 2011, there has been an increase in number of registered candidates from 9,198 in 2012 to 23,413 in 2014. Consequently, there has been an increase in examination centers from 275 in 2013 to 355 in 2014.
Twesigye attributed the increment to continued sensitization by the board but added that there were challenges such as inadequate funding and lack of facilities for printing examinations.
“Inadequate computers in institutions has continued to affect administration of computer modules since several shifts have to be administered and several sets of examinations prepared making the exercise costly,” he said.
Others include inadequate vehicles to facilitate daily operations, need to retool vocational teachers and gross failures in Mathematics.
BUDGETARY INCREASE PLEDGE
Education Minister Jessica Alupo reassured the examinations board that a request to increase their funding had been made to the ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED).
“A Shs 4bn request for funding increment to all boards starting with the 201516 financial year has been forwarded to MoFPED. Government is now prioritizing BTVET training and education and failure to fund critical activities of these boards will contradict government’s position to promote BTVET,” said Alupo.
She added that efforts are underway to operationalise 28 technical institutes to absorb more primary and secondary school leavers into BTVET institutions. Twenty of these are Arab-funded five Korea-supported and three government-aided.
Source : The Observer