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MAY 2010


Table of contents

Table of contents ................................................................................................ i 

CHAPTER ONE: Introduction ....................................................................... 1 

1.1  Background to the Study ...................................................................... 1 

1.2  Statement of the Problem ..................................................................... 2 

1.3  Theoretical Framework ........................................................................ 4 

1.4  Objective of the Study ......................................................................... 6 

1.4.1  General Objectives ............................................................................... 7 

1.4.2  Specific Objectives ............................................................................... 7 

1.5  Research Questions .............................................................................. 7 

1.6  Scope of the Study ............................................................................... 8 

1.7  Significance of the Study ..................................................................... 9 

CHAPTER TWO: Literature Review .......................................................... 10 

2.1  Vocational Education ......................................................................... 10 

2.2  Indigenous versus Modern Fisheries Knowledge .............................. 12 

2.3  Indigenous fishers training versus formal training at FTI ................. 14 

2.3  Possible Integration of formal and indigenous approaches to

vocational training at FTI ................................................................. 16 

2.4  Conclusions ........................................................................................ 18 

REFERENCES ............................................................................................... 19 

African indigenous systems of education revolved around families. Ssekamwa. education. p. p. The teachers were the parents and adult members of the community gifted and skillful in a particular technology (Namuli. but was done whenever and wherever necessary. clans. p. the tribe and the regions. 22) stated. Like Mjelde (2006a. human and animal health.1 Background to the Study African indigenous education is the African way of knowing. natural resource management and other vital activities (Gorjestani. This enabled them to be self-reliant and useful to the community. Grenier. one learns through one’s own activities in a work situation and through interaction with others. 4). 1998. here. Adults would carry along with them the young ones as they go for an activity and the learners would be taught while doing the job. 1 CHAPTER ONE: Introduction 1. 2001. 1997). Indigenous knowledge (IK) is used at a local level to assist the communities in decisions concerning food security. 1. . Teaching had no set time table or curriculum. The learners were the children who were introduced into life sustaining skills. This form of practical training existed informally in Africa before the introduction of formal education by the missionaries (Ssekamwa. Here teaching and learning. 2002. the acquiring of knowledge and skills happens from homes and the local community. 1997). indigenous education is vocational education and can also be defined as a practically illustrated and attempted job or career skill instruction (Education Encyclopedia 2009). Generally.

2 The quantity and quality of the IK that individuals possess vary.Entebbe. if any at all about this kind of education in the fishing communities of Uganda. By “Indigenous training”. formal training of Fisheries students and continue to explore the possibility of integrating the two systems of knowledge transfer to enhance formal training of fisheries students at Fisheries Training Institute (FTI) . gender. Very little information however. aptitude and intellectual capability. This project write up covers some aspects of indigenous training of fishermen. p. social and economic status. and control over natural resources in a way influences one’s degree of indigenous knowledge (Grenier. level of curiosity and observation skills. outside influences. 1. Fishers have close ethnic backgrounds and share common . using local knowledge of finding fish stocks. daily experiences. I mean how fishers acquire knowledge of fishing using locally made fishing gear. education. available time. profession. exists. 1998.2 Statement of the Problem Even today. Ugandan fishing industry is characterized by indigenously trained fishing communities. Age. roles and responsibilities in the home and community. navigation and position location in the lake. fish preservation techniques and resource conservation measures and understandings. ability to travel and degree of autonomy. 3).

however. One wonders how a government aided institution fails to competently train fishers who can withstand competition from informally trained local fishers. The challenges include lack of funding. 92). These questions have made me curious and this curiosity has provided me the motivation to do my main masters research in the field of indigenous knowledge transfer and application of the acquired knowledge by local fishers. especially the “community of practice’’ (Lave & Wenger. lack of training tools and practical materials. The formal training of Fisheries students. Because fishing is the source of livelihood here. p. the interpretation of weather (nature) in relation to fishing and how such knowledge is preserved and passed on to the next generation. inadequately trained instructors. . 1991. the practice and knowledge are closely guarded and the knowledge carefully passed on from generation to generation by the skilled members of the community. 3 cultural practices and languages (with exception of only a few immigrants who get adapted and absorbed into the culture of the local fishing community). and lack of motivation for the career among students. which may impact on the competency of the graduates. We still know very little if any how fishers apply indigenous knowledge in fisheries management. This hampers the nature and quality of training. ecology. is faced with a number of challenges. One fascinating gap in knowledge of the indigenous pedagogy of indigenous training of fishers is “how they use the available local recourses to train and acquire knowledge”.

belonging naturally” (Hornby. there is need to answer the following questions. traditional ecological knowledge (TEK). living. or occurring naturally in a particular region or environment”. indigenous technical knowledge. and village . traditional science. p. indigenous knowledge.3 Theoretical Framework In an attempt to develop a theoretical framework for utilizing indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) in fisheries education and management to promote sustainable fishing. ethno-science. 1974. as Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS). people’s science. What is indigenous knowledge (IK)? What special contribution can it make to sustainable fishing? How can this contribution be incorporated into fisheries education? Semantic definitions of the term “indigenous” include. It is variably referred to as traditional knowledge. and practices with contextual information system and comprehensive in dimensions of application” (Williams & Muchena. Conceptual definitions may include. 4 1. Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary defined the term indigenous as “native. local knowledge. local science. “Integrated system of cognition. growing. “originated and produced. 433). beliefs/values. or. 1991. p. 52) There is no universally accepted term for the category of knowledge referred to in the present work.

ethnoecology. An important aspect of IKS is that it covers the whole range of human experiences. catches of Nile perch increased dramatically by the early 1980s followed by a drastic decline in population of several indigenous fish species (Balirwa et al. food preparation. the term indigenous knowledge systems. social sciences (politics. natural-resource management. ethonobotany. 5 science (Williams & Muchena. IKS is the basis for local-level decision making in agriculture. arts and crafts. the military. economics. health care. but the essence of the category is knowledge that is usually oral and specific to a particular place and a particular group of people. p. will be used to denote “the local knowledge that is unique to a given culture or society which accumulates over generations of living in a particular environment that enable the community to achieve stable livelihoods in their environment”. education. irrigation). and a host of other activities in rural communities. and humanities (communications. 240). climatology. Each has somewhat different emphasis. engineering. Following the introduction of Nile perch (Lates niloticus) to lake Victoria and lake Kyoga in the late 1950s and 1960s. sociology. Lack of involvement of the local fishing communities in fisheries management has built distrust and non co-operation with the central . medicine. 51). 2000. local epistemology and belief systems). 1991. or IKS. The dimensions of IK include physical sciences and related technologies (agriculture. p. For the purposes of this project.. and ethnology).

a careful amalgamation of indigenous and state –supported scientific managerial and foreign knowledge would be most promising. 2010. Such amalgamations of knowledge and experience of different types are then likely to be adopted faster and applied more successfully. 6 government fisheries staff which has met with great difficulties (Cowx. This top-down approach (“foreign knowledge”) to fisheries management has failed and today. Foreign knowledge does not necessarily mean modern technology. 164-166). pp. it includes also indigenous practices developed and applied under similar conditions elsewhere. 1. Cambodia and Thailand for quite some time (Nasuchon & Charles.4 Objective of the Study This research is centered on the following objectives . Involvement of local communities in the management of fisheries has been practiced successfully in Malaysia. 305-308). In most cases.The introduction of Beach Management Units (BMUs) to co-manage fisheries formally between fishing communities and Government of Uganda has been implemented on Lake Victoria and other major lakes in Uganda. indigenous efforts are being sought in an attempt to better manage the fisheries resource. & Othina. the rate and the degree of adoption and adaptation to the clients. Van der Knaap. pp. 2003. leaving the choice. Muhoozi. Vietnam.

2 Specific Objectives 1 To review and identify the different pedagogical approaches used by local fishers and those applied at a formal training institution.4.4.1 General Objectives The present project aims to record and explore the possibilities to integrate indigenous vocational training of fishers with the formal training of fisheries students at fisheries Training institute (FTI) in Entebbe. . In this sense. 1) Do there exists differences between local fishers training and formal training didactics at FTI? And. 1. 2 To identify the training gaps at FTI that affects the quality of graduates? 3 To forge a way of integrating the local fishers knowledge of training in the curriculum of FTI. the present study will be guided by the following questions for which it seeks to answers. 1.5 Research Questions The present study aims to review and record local training knowledge held by fishers and to compare it with the training at FTI to be able to find a merger between the two training approaches to produce quality competent fisheries graduates from FTI. 7 1.

1. I further tried to identify the training gaps at FTI that may affect the quality of graduates? And finally I tried to forge a way of integrating the local fishers’ knowledge of training in the curriculum of FTI to improve on the vocational didactics being employed at FTI.6 Scope of the Study This project was conducted within a brief period of two months at FTI by reviewing the FTI curriculum and examining relevant literature on local fishers’ organization in Uganda and neighboring countries. . Pomeroy & Williams (1994) had similar reasoning for harmonizing the local fishers indigenous knowledge with the scientific knowledge. The study examined. Silvano & Begossi (2005) argued that ethno-ecological studies may also help in promoting dialogue and cooperation between local fishers and scientists and in their support. 8 2) Does the didactic approach to training at FTI compromise the competency levels of its graduates? I have a strong belief that answers to the above questions will greatly improve approaches to vocational didactics and training at FTI. reviewed and identified the different pedagogical approaches used by local fishers and those applied at a formal training at FTI.

2004).. In doing this. I hope to improve mutual understanding between fishery scientists and local fishers in Uganda therefore helping these fishers to get more involved in training the FTI interns and managing the fisheries resource. 9 1. Besides the aforementioned significances. To date little use is made of the fisher’s indigenous knowledge in formal training and management decision making process (Bergmann et al. this project is one of the first ethno- ichthyologic studies involving FTI and fishing communities. .7 Significance of the Study Answers to these questions would potentially contribute to enhancing the vocational education and training of fisheries students at Fisheries Training Institute.

family and consumer sciences. p. 1) defined Vocational education as “a practically illustrated and attempted job or career skill instruction”. technical education. and learning is by doing. A degree of the Masters in Vocational Pedagogy at Kyambogo University is the first of its kind in Uganda and Africa as a whole. As such. occupation and profession (NOMA programme Document. a variety of components fall under the vocational education umbrella: agricultural education. and trade and industrial education. marketing education. The programme aims at addressing the attitude syndrome towards vocational skills and competence of students in the field of vocational education. economic development and gender relations in a bid to fight poverty (NOMA programme Document. Gordon. 2008. p. p. 2008. 2) and the unemployment of graduates from general education who have no individual skills to employ in the world of work. health occupations education. It consists of education focused towards training and learning to work. Parks. Wilbert. business education. & Castro (2009.1 Vocational Education Vocational Education is a field of knowledge oriented towards trades. Professional training of fishermen is something which many countries lacked as a vocation. Muhoozi (2008) stated that vocational education is what developing countries need as it prepares one to directly enter an occupation without further training. 2). The common misunderstanding is that vocational education has . McCaslin. 10 CHAPTER TWO: Literature Review 2.

electrical. 1 BTVET: Business Technical and Vocational Education and Training . The general conference of the ILO Office (1966) considered that vocational training of fishermen should be of a standard equivalent to that provided for other trades. architectural and other engineering courses including carpentry and joinery. occupations and industries. To improve the standards of safety on board fishing vessels. The ILO Office (1966) further proposed the objectives of vocational training of fishermen as follows among others: To improve the efficiency of the fishing industry and to secure general recognition of the economic and social significance of fishing to the national economy. 11 to do with the civil. To provide training and retraining facilities commensurate with the current and projected manpower needs of the fishing industry for all the various fishing occupations. 2002) the states has recognized fishing as a vocation and its social and economic significance. However. To assist the entry into employment of all trainees after completion of their courses. in Uganda (BTVET)1 and some other countries such as Russia (BarentsObserver.

. but learning at a vocational school is a simulation of what happens at work places. however.p. 2007). learning in a training institution and learning in a work place flips one another over a pivot (Mjelde. 2007. 2007). and no support for the statistical data collection procedures within the fishing communities. Cowax et al. there is need to revisit the African traditional ways of knowing to harmonize the past with the present so that we shall be able to establish the true basis for indigenous fishing pedagogy in the informal “world”. Here. 2006b). The lack of involvement of the fishing communities can only be seen as a retrograde step. p. 2. 12 In vocational pedagogy. over-fishing and the use of damaging or illegal fishing gears are in part a reflection of the failure of centralized management strategies.7). It forms skills in an individual that he/she can apply in the world of work. Learning through practice is common in both situations. Mjelde (2006b) further stated that vocational pedagogy is dynamic and its diversity changes with technological developments. Furthermore.(2003. work of the mind is formed by the work of the hand. Vocational pedagogy enables young adults to make the transition into working environment and guarantees enough qualified people in the future (Lutalo-Bosa. 205) recognized that central government management created an atmosphere of distrust leading to non cooperation of local fishers with the fisheries departments.2 Indigenous versus Modern Fisheries Knowledge Modern Africans tend to invest little faith in developing indigenous knowledge (Ngara. a characteristic feature of vocational training (Lutalo-Bosa..

Amarasiri (2005) addressed the loss of traditional knowledge: “I argue that the traditional fishing sector that provided livelihood for the poor and the marginalized communities in the country’s littoral. . The expectation is that the citizens and government share responsibility in fisheries management as an active partners in fisheries planning. In addition. George. 10). Kyoga. Edward. The Asian Tsunami disaster of 2005 destroyed all the fishing equipment and all the harbors in the coastal areas of Sri Lanka. Following the disaster. the lack of respect for local or indigenous knowledge and the assumption by western scientist that western epistemology and scientific discourse is superior is a serious obstacle to sustainable development because they fail to meet human development needs and at the same time to protect nature and the ecosystems. A case in point is the establishment of the beach management units (BMUs) for the management of fisheries resources on Lake Victoria in the three riparian states of Uganda. technology and know-how of traditional fishing but also to bring back the vigor of the culture that embodied the much valued folk wisdom coming down from many generations”. Breidlid (2009. management and development (MAAIF. 13 The fact that so much effort is now being invested into understanding the basis for indigenous natural resources management indicates that the negative attitudes commonly held about indigenous knowledge during the colonial era have begun to change. p. Kenya and Tanzania.p. 2003.142) recognized that. should be assisted not only to restore their livelihood. Albert and Kwania) of Uganda. BMUs are now operational in most lakes (for example.

feet.7). this equipment is affected by the environmental conditions and other factors that render questionable and unreliable information produced. woods. and Crean. Lwenya. history and ecology (Ngara. the knowledge of which can still be traced to a few descendants of these “traditional” fishers. Meanwhile.p. 2.5-8. The African ways of knowing are grounded in the indigenous African cultural traditions. One can however regard this knowledge as unauthentic and unreliable since some of it cannot be verified by scientific methods.38-45. 2007. bones and later on spears and modern hooks and fishing nets (Brandt. Geheb. predetermine fish abundance and location in the fishing grounds before deploying their fishing gears. who and how fishing activities are carried out. p. 1972. where. the indigenous systems prevail and are accurate. The system regulates when. Our fore fathers too knew in their own ways how to predict fish abundance. seas and oceans is a skillful technique which has developed over time from the crude traditional methods of using hands. (2000.3 Indigenous fishers training versus formal training at FTI Governments commonly manage fisheries through legal and administrative measures which Abila. . While modern systems which use Sonar as fish- finders. global positioning systems (GPS) for position location and weather station reports to determine the conditions in the sea. 318) called the “command and control regime”.185-204). Modern fishers equipped with electronic fish-finders. 14 Fishing in the wild waters of giant lakes.

members of the society and learning is on the job. . with exception of only a few (Ogwang. 2009. This is not true with the indigenous methods which have no formal written teaching curriculum. and Makerere University among other fisheries training institutions in Uganda. Similarly. p. a research expeditions to some TVET institutions in Uganda showed that. the material pieces used for practical lessons are never re- used and the product of the practical sessions are neither useable in any form but just thrown away at the end of the lesson. The element of production learning. 9). Because one learns by doing. In the informal indigenous training of the fishing vocation. one learns from the parents. Further. 9). there is no wastage of training materials. But. the system seemed not to be faced with lack of training tools and materials unlike in formal vocational training institutions (Ogwang. The teaching of the fisheries sciences follows set curriculum with clearly defined subject contents to be taught at particular hours during the training period. p. There is no clear distinction between learning and actual doing the job. 15 These regulations are implemented by formally trained fisheries graduates from Fisheries Training Institute. Thriftiness is the art of resource use instilled in the learners at their earlier stage of joining the vocation. the inadequate training materials at formal training institutions sometimes get exhausted at demonstration level before a student master the art of a particular practical task. which s a norm in indigenous knowledge transfer is rare in most training institutions. 2009.

3 Possible Integration of formal and indigenous approaches to vocational training at FTI It is important to improve the link between formal and informal TVET. 16 As part of professional competency building at FTI. This is an opportunity for them to interact with the local fishers to acquire and share knowledge. 2010). either on a part-time or full-time basis (Africa Economic Outlook. whatever skills not taught in class cannot be learnt fully by these students while in the field. the students look at these local dirty fishers with low attitude and thus end up distancing themselves from them and hence. this is not the real case on the ground. to one’s surprise. students are sent for industrial training/ internship in the field. all located in Entebbe. which in most cases can be accessed informally from the local fishers. and Nakiwogo. They are expected to learn on the job the fisheries skills and knowledge. FTI is situated a few kilometers from the major landing sites of Kasenyi. Similarly. Kigungu. Such skills sometimes are limited by lack of resources at formal training institutions. 2. a knowledge gap and mistrust is created in between the students and the local resource users. But. in order to allow students who drop out of school to learn a trade to re-enter the formal vocational school system to upgrade the skills acquired on the job. This therefore means. An affiliation with these . regular vocational-fisheries students should be able to acquire relevant practical skills in the informal sector.

the students would drop away the attitude of shunning the locally imparted knowledge and skills in the trade. This approach would bring in some kind of prestige among the contracted local fishers. nets and other equipments could be borrowed from local fishers who are contracted to show the students how to harvest the lake indigenously as a supplement to their formally acquired school knowledge. the failure of state organs to regulate fisheries has prompted re- thinking into new strategies for fisheries management (Abila et al. and may be willing to share information. Fishing boats. Further. With the support of the fishing communities the sustainability of the fishery can become an achievable objective by. The inadequacy of practical and training materials could be addressed by attaching students to landing sites where they could get training hands on using the local fisher’s resources. participate in the . Local fishers who have worked in fisheries their entire lives have knowledge about fisheries. In addition. hence boosting the relationship between the fisheries managers and the local resource users.. 2000. 17 landing sites will bring close relations between the local indigenous fishers and the students of FTI. for instance. p. This will open an avenue for training of FTI students by these local fishers when they go for internship besides irregular field visits organized to these landings. adhering to agreed-upon fishing methods and patrolling of certain parts of the lake. 318).

They can also help researchers monitor fisheries recourses by recording their catches. 2010. 164). the practice is a norm in the informal indigenous training of local fishers. The life long learning of indigenous knowledge make the local fishers the custodians of such knowledge which could be shared with the formally trained fisheries managers/ students. The institutional relationship between training institutions and the local resource users should therefore be strengthened to help in the training of competent fisheries graduate who can live and manage fisheries resources in harmony with the local resources users. . The incorporation of the local fisher’s knowledge into teaching of scientific fisheries managers and investigators is thus paramount in the management of the fisheries resources in Uganda. 2. help with implementing plans and be involved in monitoring of illegal fishing (Nasuchon & Charles. p. 18 identification of problems.4 Conclusions Much as vocational fisheries training is challenged by limited practical lessons.

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