I have severally heard, especially some school leaders convince themselves that DIT assessment is not compulsory. I blame this partly on the Directorate of Industrial Training for not doing comprehensive sensitization and on the same leaders for not appreciating the new curriculum wholesomely.
Let us approach DIT assessment by understanding its importance
The New Competence Based Curriculum was rolled out in 2020 under the theme “To produce a secondary school graduate with employable skills that are competitive in the job market.” At the end of the chain, the major beneficiary is the learner.
DIT is mandated to carryout assessment of all the learners. The process begins with each school registering for a Centre number and training the learners following the Assessment and Training Packages (ATPs) that were distributed to all private and government schools last year. Registration of learners for assessment is set to begin this term.
One school leader told me “Mercy, DIT is not compulsory as UNEB!” I asked him what happens when a learner misses UNEB exams under circumstances such as sickness, failure to pay UNEB fees, dropout, etc. He told me that the loss is to the learner but UNEB won’t punish the learner nor the school. So I asked him what will happen if a learner misses DIT assessment? We agreed that the loss is also to the learner but DIT won’t punish the school or the learner; so to say that both UNEB exams and DIT assessment are vital for agreeably refusing to use the word compulsory.
Anyway, let us look at the importance of DIT assessment.
- Vocational training is an aspect of the New Competence Based Curriculum whose measure is assessment. If you get vocational training but don’t sit assessment then you don’t get any certification to that effect so where such certification is needed, you are equivalent to one that didn’t attain the training.
- If your school does not offer vocational training, then it is not in compliance with the new curriculum. “Ref Circular No. 25/2022” by the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Education and Sports.
- DIT is an ISO certified body. With a DIT certificate, you can competently work anywhere in the world. You can as well pursue further studies in the same occupation without any other assessment.
- DIT is coming to S.5 and S.6 as a continuation of the new curriculum. Learners are expected to pursue similar occupations at Level 2. So if a learner doesn’t sit level 1, he or she will not sit level 2. The curriculum will certainly be compromised all at a loss of a learner.
It should be noted that a UVQF Level 2 certificate is equivalent to S.6.
With the above reasons and many more, I encourage school leaders and stakeholders to let learners pursue vocational training and have the assessment. I don’t think that there is any learner that would wish to miss such an opportunity.
Expose learners to information regarding different occupations and allow them to make their choices even when at the moment the choice of occupations is in the hands of the schools. Remember the beneficiary is the learner.
I forever wish that this program was here during my secondary school days. I would have persuaded Ceramist as an occupation and would by now be the biggest producer of roof and floor tiles, ceramic kitchenware, toilets and sinks and several other ceramic products.
Two major reasons that are mainly advanced by schools against vocational training are;
- Lack of teachers for the occupations, I always refer them to understanding how learning and teaching is carried out in this curriculum where both learners and teachers should find out information from different resources.
- That assessment fees, i.e 80,000 is high. I always call upon the same to sensitize the parents regarding the importance of this training and assessment. That way, they will understand the value of that money.
I call upon all stakeholders to embrace vocational training and assessment so that we produce secondary school graduates that have employable skills and are ready to impact the world of worker.