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Issues in Educational Research, 2021, Vol 31(2), 556-573.
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An analysis of Uganda's vocational education: Assessing human capital and human development approaches

Jiin Kim
Seoul National University, South Korea

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have signalled a new era for the vocational education agenda which had almost disappeared since the 1990s with the rise of universal primary education (UPE). However, there are voices of concern from academia pointing out the lack of alternative theoretical frameworks in current vocational education that is strongly rooted in the human capital approach. This study is an attempt to suggest the human development approach to vocational education by examining vocational education in Uganda. This paper analyses Uganda's vocational education from two theoretical approaches: human capital and human development. The findings reveal that Uganda's government has implemented vocational education based on the human capital approach, although it turns out that vocational education better fits the human development approach. The human capital approach has marginalised early school leavers and provided little support through counselling for their acquisition of life skills. Yet psychological support and life skills education are considered beneficial for the youths from the human development approach. These findings call for a shift in the theoretical framework from the human capital to the human development approach, which can help create a new and improved era of vocational education.
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Author: Jiin Kim is a PhD candidate in the Global Education Cooperation Program, Seoul National University, South Korea. Her research interests include education policies and inequality in developing countries, comparative education, poverty and education, and international cooperation in education.
Email: ji.kim@snu.ac.kr

Please cite as: Kim, J. (2021). An analysis of Uganda's vocational education: Assessing human capital and human development approaches. Issues in Educational Research, 31(2), 556-573. http://www.iier.org.au/iier31/kim.pdf

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