Uganda: Vocational Training and Tailoring Shop Program

RMF JICA Basic Skills Vocational Training Outreach Programme July 2015 Report

August 06, 2015


1.  Background

This is a progress report of the second intake in the second month of the training under the program “Basic Skills Vocational Training Outreach Programme” that is implemented by Real Medicine Foundation (RMF) under the supervision of JICA and the Directorate of Vocational Training (DVT) at the Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development (MoLPSHRD) South Sudan.

It covers the month of July 2015 while implementing the skills outreach program and Real Medicine Foundation (RMF) achieved the following key outs in Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute:

  1. Continuous institutional training has been ongoing and as of end of June, all departments completed the designed 3-month curriculum
  2. Continuous internal assessment was done during the month
  3. Support supervision was given by three team members from Nakawa Vocational Technical Institute
  4. 132 Trainees were registered to complete Directorate of Industrial Training Examinations
  5. The institute received DIT results of the 98 trainees who completed DIT examination during the December 2014 –March 2015 intake

Main challenges faced during the month

  1. Language barrier
  2. Absenteeism and late coming
  3. Discrimination among trainees according to tribes

Lessons Learned

  1. The refugee community is very mobile resulting in absenteeism and dropout of trainees
  2. Women/ladies are negative towards other courses regarding them to be masculine for instance in the BCP and Carpentry department, all trainees are male
  3. Enrollment into courses like hair dressing and tailoring are considered feminine
  4. Refugees in all age brackets are willing to enroll in short courses due to the desire for earning quick money

2. Continuous Institutional Training

2.1 Carpentry and Joinery

The department has covered all the six modules as designed in the curriculum. 15 trainees, all male, were registered to do Directorate of Industrial Training examinations, scheduled to be completed by 7th August 2015. The number of 15 seems to be the standard for DIT examinations.

Comparatively, the trainees during this intake have completed more units in terms of designing and molding units. Items produced during this training include:

  • Stools – 15
  • Coffee set of five items; one big table and four small tables; of these, four sets were made.
  • Office chairs – 15 made
  • Office desks – 3 made
  • Window frames and widow shutters – 3 made
  • Door frames and door shutters – 3 made
  • Beds – 3 beds made
  • Continuous assessment of both theory and practical has been going on.


  • Absenteeism
  • Drop out of especially South Sudanese trainees
  • Late coming
  • Language barrier
  • The rainy season affected progress of trainee activities by blowing rain into the workshop, this slowed practicals in some instances.

 2.2 Building and Concrete Practice

The departmental curriculum made of five modules has been fully covered within the designed 3-month training period. 22 trainees from this department were registered to complete Directorate of Industrial Training examinations on 7th August 2015. Compared to the last intake where only 17 trainees successfully completed the examination, there has been an increase of 5 trainees in the department.
Modules covered during July

  • Design, construction and erection of panels on wall.
  • Course work assessment was done  
  • Approach on openings and use of wooden lintels
  • Double attached piers and use of contrasting bricks/materials.

Main challenges experienced in the department

  • Absenteeism and late coming
  • Malaria infection of most of the trainees leading to absenteeism
  • Surface runoff and side splashes affected trainee modules due to the open workshop space
  • Trainees seem to think that this is a male based course and females shun this training.

 2.3 Tailoring and Garment Cutting

The departmental curriculum has been fully covered by completion of all the 7 modules. 53 trainees were registered to complete the Directorate of Industrial Training examination on 7th August 2015. Compared to the last intake where 43 completed the DIT examination, the department registered an increase of 10 trainees. Of the registered, 2 are male while 51 are female

Modules covered during the month

  • Designed a fish skirt
  • Designed a pleated pair of shorts
  • Revised a short sleeved shirt
  • Internal assessment
  • Continuous revision


  • Late coming
  • Absenteeism
  • Language barrier especially among the Nuer, Dinka, between the instructors and the trainees and even among the trainees themselves.
  • Tribalism among the trainees. Nuers and Dinkas have a hate along tribal lines which is stretched into the training lecture rooms as well.
  • Many trainees, especially lactating mothers, have continuously complained about hunger and this has affected their training at times leading to absenteeism or low concentration in the afternoons.
  • The department experienced theft of training items like bobbins, measuring tapes, threads  and scissors. 
  • Dropout of trainees
  • Trainees seem to think that this is a female based training thus registering more females in the department compared to males.

2.4 Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy

Like in all other departments, the curriculum consisting of 6 modules has been fully covered by the trainees. Currently, revision and continuous practice with electrical equipment is being done by the trainees. 42 trainees [1 male and 41 female] have been registered to complete DIT examination on 7th August 2015, compared to the last intake of 23 who successfully registered and completed DIT examinations. The department has registered an increase of 19 trainees.

Departmental achievement

  • Completion of the three months curriculum
  • Completed a number of course units as listed below
  • Blowout
  • Pencil plaiting
  • Retouch
  • Shaving
  • Internal assessment to 40 trainees done
  • Installation of power to the department; this has enabled the trainees to practice with electrical equipment and timely complete the modules that involve use of power.

Challenges faced

  • Although Power was connected, it is however limited to the use of only a few machines, making it insufficient for all the desired machines for trainers.
  • Late coming and absenteeism during food distribution in the settlement


3. Support and Supervisory Visit by Nakawa Vocational Training Institute

Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute received a monitoring and technical supervisory support visit from a team of three team members from Nakawa Vocational Technical Institute. During their visit, they met staff and management of the Institute, met trainees and gave carrier guidance, held workshop practice supervision, gave guidance on practical examination approach and at the end, shared their findings with the staff and management team of Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute.
The team’s finding of the departments:

  • They noticed dropouts of trainees
  • Language barrier
  • Most students come from far, that’s why they have to start late and when the students go for lunch they do not come back.
  • The department is well equipped.
  • The trainees are committed.
  • The trainees are smart with full security gears; shoes, overcoats & gloves.


  • Expansion was done which reduced on congestion but the space is still not enough.
  • The department is well equipped with enough tools for each trainee.
  • They do not have text books, drawing instruments and there is no computer for them to type and draw some work.
  • Practically the students can pass but theoretically they are raw.

Hair dressing

  • The department has more trainees for this intake.
  • The trainees have been well trained and discipline is maintained.

Tailoring Department

  • Language Barrier since Dinka trainees do not understand Arabic and English.
  • Theft of training equipment, i.e. bobbins and scissors
  • Limited space is a challenge
  • Some trainees are rude and they do not want corrections.
  • Tribalism amongst the trainees.

Challenges were considered as cross cutting in all the departments

  • Space in all departments is limited.
  • Power problem in the HDBT department resulted in other practicals being delayed.
  • Some of the trainees are not confident to use the electrical equipment due to delayed reconnection of power.
  • Language is not a big challenge; students are being helped by their fellow students.

4. Directorate of Industrial Training Cutting List Released

The DIT released the cutting list for the four departments, which can be seen below…

5. Release of Results for December 2014 – March 2015 Intake Examinations

From the above results, the majority of trainees passed the practical examinations that were set by DIT successfully, with only one unsuccessful trainee.

6. Lessons Learned

  1. The refugee community is very mobile resulting in absenteeism and dropout of trainees.
  2. Women/ladies are negative towards other courses regarding them to be masculine for instance in the BCP and Carpentry department, all trainees are male.
  3. Courses like hairdressing and tailoring are considered feminine.
  4. Refugees in all age brackets are willing to enroll in short courses due to the desire for earning quick money.


In April 2011, RMF initiated the Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute (PVTI) at the Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement after being presented by the refugee community with issues surrounding the lack of skills and vocational training for students graduating from the settlement high school.
After researching which skills would provide the quickest earning opportunities and the most efficient economic investment requirements for RMF, we narrowed the programs down to:

  • Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy
  • Bricklaying and Concrete Practice
  • Carpentry and Joinery
  • Tailoring and Garment Cutting


  • To train the refugees with relevant vocational training skills
  • To prepare the refugees for the work world with entrepreneurial skills for both employment and self-employment
  • To prepare refugees with basic skills that they shall use for nation building when returning to their home country
  • To foster a cycle of improved economic stability and opportunity in the region