Promoting Private Training Providers
In many countries, a further expansion of private training providers is considered a key strategy to expand formal and informal training in a sustainable manner. Indeed, the encouragement of private training institutions may represent an effective way of introducing more competitiveness into the sector and, in parallel, reduce the call on public funds.
Nevertheless, in general, private providers operate below international standards in terms of management and teaching quality. In Uganda, where private training providers train more than 80 per cent of formal students, the Uganda Association of Private Vocational Institutions – UGAPRIVI has made important efforts to increase the capacity of its members to deliver good quality services (see Box 37). It is therefore important for the state to monitor the quality of private institutions while at the same time providing financial and technical assistance to private training providers’ associations.
Expansion of private training institutions might be constrained by cumbersome investment regulations and uncertainty about the capacity and preparedness of private households to pay commercial training fees, especially outside urban areas. Indeed, non public training institutions which operate on a commercial basis need full cost recovery, applying fees that many poor household cannot afford. In order to reduce the cost of private training delivery and make it more accessible to the poor, the government of Uganda has recently decided on a policy to subsidise training in private institutions in the context of the Universal Post-primary Education and Training Policy. The government plans include indirect support especially for private informal training institutions through contributions to instructors’ training and wages. Other measures to ensure access to nonpublic institutions for disadvantaged groups include the sponsoring of poor students with resources from levy funds, state budgets, NGOs and donors.