UNESCO BEAR II handover of ICT Equipment to TVET Institutions in Uganda

Technical Vocational Educational Training (TVET) Institutions in Uganda have been urged to effectively integrate ICT into the students learning environment and make its best use as a pedagogical tool since it is a new way of ‘working smarter and better’ as a result of the global advancement of technology. These remarks were echoed by the Director of Education Standards (DES) in Uganda, Dr. Kedrace Turyagyenda while officiating at the hybrid ceremony organized to handover ICT equipment to ten TVET institutions on 29 September 2021 at Imperial Royale Hotel Kampala. Dr. Kedrace who was representing the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) thanked UNESCO for the continued commitment of working with the MoES. She also thanked the Republic of Korea for the support and contribution rendered towards the successful realization of the project and for the collaboration that gave birth to the BEAR II project. She pledged the commitment of the government through MoES for continued collaboration in search of a lasting solution for better education in the country.

The equipment which included  Laptops, Projectors, Smart Interactive Boards among others were handed out to beneficiary institutions under the Better Education Africa’s Rise (BEAR II) project, a joint initiative of UNESCO and the Republic of Korea targeting  agricultural sector with focus on enhancing the relevancy, quality and improving perception of Agro-processing and post-harvest management training. This intervention is in response to the gaps in the quality of delivering TVET and also the interruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic on education system in Uganda.

In his remarks, UNESCO Regional Director, Prof. Hubert Gijzen in a statement read by Mr.  Saidou Jallow expressed his satisfaction at witnessing a flourishing collaboration in Uganda between BEAR and TVET Authority, together with other government and private partners whose focus is on environmental technologies and on solar photovoltaic. He added, “with education halted at TVET institutions due to COVID-19, BEAR II facilitated the procurement of ICT equipment for 10 TVET institutions in Uganda”. He further noted that this set of equipment will allow for continuity of learning in the TVET Sector but emphasized the need to add ICT skills development as part of the BEAR programme because of the rapidly growing demand for these skillsets.

Prof. Hubert noted that TVET often still stands at the bottom of education spectrum which is often presented as an option for those who do not have the opportunity to go to university. He added that, this has contributed to the poor image and negative perception of TVET. “But times are changing, since the start of the COVID pandemic, when we suddenly depended so much on connectivity, the ICT technician has become the most important person in many offices; the push towards green transformation will generate new attractive jobs and new businesses requiring special technical skills”. He stated.

The ten (08) TVET institutions and 02 TVET teacher training institutions who received the ICT equipment include Ntinda Vocational and Training Institute (VTI) Nakawa VTI, RUCID Organic College, Lwetanga Farm Institute, Sesse Farm Institute, Busitema University, Kaberamaido Technical Institute, Bobbi polytechnic National Instructor training college Abilonino and Bukalasa Agriculture College. They benefited from 21 laptops, 4 smart Interactive Board, 21 Projectors and 21 external storage devices to support management and teaching in their respective institutions, Instructor Training Colleges, and the relevant departments within MoES.

The handover ceremony drew over 50 participants with stakeholders in attendance coming from the 10 TVET Institutions, Ministry of Education and Sports, National BEAR II Technical Committee, Korean Embassy in Kampala, Press Team, among others.

The Better Education for Africa’s Rise II (BEAR II) is a joint initiative of UNESCO and the Republic of Korea, which is being implemented in five Eastern African countries: Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Tanzania and Uganda, in improving the relevance, quality and perception of their TVET systems.

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