10 July 2014, Kampala – Uganda Petroleum Institute Kigumba (UPIK), Uganda’s premier oil institute, plans to restructure its curriculum and introduce five more oil courses, according to the institute’s Institutional Development Plan 2014-2019. The development plan was released last month.
Started by government in 2009, the institute currently offers a two-year diploma in petroleum studies with options in drilling, electrical installation, instrumentation and welding, followed by a six-month practical training at Kenson School of Production Technology in Trinidad and Tobago.
The training comes with International Vocational Qualification (IVQ), of City and Guilds of London. UPIK is the country’s only tertiary institution that is specifically mandated to train craftsmen and other technicians that will provide the much-needed labour in the oil sector.
However, the development plan proposes an overhaul of the curriculum. The diploma in petroleum studies will be phased out and replaced with five new courses, following an assessment and review.
“The assessment believes that the curriculum used by UPIK’s first intake programme was sometimes too broad and was not developed in close cooperation with the industry. It was very broad, included a mix of petroleum operations and maintenance and didn’t target any specific occupation.”
The new curriculum and courses are designed to deliver a more occupational-specific programme at diploma level and industry responsive. According to the plan, the new proposed courses are: diplomas in Upstream Petroleum Operations, Downstream Operations, Instrumentation Technician, Mechanical Maintenance Technology and Electrical Maintenance (High Voltage). Diplomas in Upstream and Downstream Operations will be two years while diplomas in Instrumentation Technician and Mechanical Maintenance Technology are expected to be one year.
Prof Charles Kwesiga, the chairperson of UPIK management team, recently told The Observer that proposed new courses are more industry-responsive and meant to produce a labour force that is relevant to the industry. For instance, the new diploma in upstream operations will focus on field production techniques and equipments, reservoir engineering including enhanced well recovery, gas processing, drilling, petroleum chemistry, safety fundamentals and geology.
– The Observer