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NCHE set to close illegal institutions

The National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) will next year close all institutions purporting to teach and award students but never upgraded their provisional licenses.

The head of Other Tertiary Institutions (OTIs) at NCHE, Innocent Nkwasibwe, said all institutions in that category have up to January 28, 2018 to regularize their licenses.

“When that day comes, every single license that has outdone its time will lapse and the institution will close,” Nkwasibwe said. “It is an offence if you train and [yet are] not legally licensed because it does serious damage for the prospects of young people who come to be trained from an illegal institution.”

He said such institutions that continue to teach unaccredited programmes, have inadequate staff, enter unrecognized affiliations and teach from unaccredited premises were risking closure.

According to the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions (Amendment) Act 2006, “a provisional license shall be valid for at least three years from the date of publication of the Private Other Degree Awarding Institution in the gazette, within which period the [NCHE] shall be monitoring the institution to establish its viability for accreditation.”

Nkwasibwe was speaking at the first graduation ceremony of Sai Pali Institute of Technology and Management (SITM), held at the institute premises in Bakuli-Mengo.

At the ceremony, some 56 students were awarded diplomas and certificates in Software Engineering, Visual Effects and Animation, and Infrastructure Management Services.

Established in 2013, Sai Pali institute got an NCHE provisional license in 2014. Nkwasibwe commended SITM for being legally compliant by following up to secure its permanent certificate of classification and registration within three years.

Amit Srivastava, the director and founder SITM, urged government to invite more IT investors in order to minimize dependency on expatriates, saying already more than 60 per cent of the graduands are already employed.

“At Sai Pali, we don’t use books because 100 per cent of our work is practical. With IT, all you need are the skills and you are assured of a job,” Srivastava said.

He said the institute would soon launch its unique school management system, developed by students, to the market at affordable costs. The system, which works along with a web camera, helps head teachers use screens to monitor lessons, class attendance, as well as content delivered to learners, among other benefits.

In his written speech, the chief guest and Katikkiro of Buganda, Charles Peter Mayiga, implored society to embrace technology that will practically determine the future of education.

“Some educators and experts are against the trends of implementing education tools and apps in every single aspect of the schooling system, mainly because technology is a source of distraction for students,” Mayiga said, commending the institute for putting technology at the forefront.

However, he advised that proper integration of technology be deployed to guide students towards better understanding of all concepts covered in class, enjoy learning, and track information globally.

To the graduands, Mayiga said, “as you graduate from Sai Pali, always remember that soft skills are as equally important as the technical skills. Tolerance, honesty, discipline and respect will make you prosperous and relevant practioners in the fields where you are going.”

Currently, the Sai Pali institute has about 200 diploma and certificate students on various IT programmes.

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