The Uganda Technical College Kichwamba has formally started the process of evolving into a degree-granting institution.
The college formally announced the creation of a five-member task force during its 9th graduation ceremony recently. The taskforce will meet with the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), before a formal request is made to the ministry for elevation.
The chairperson of Kichwamba's governing council, Margaret Muhanga Mugisa heads this task force, which also includes Charles Ngabirano (member of the governing council representing UTC); Kichwamba alumni, Dr Athmani Bilali (representing the ministry of Education and Sports (Higher Education); Augustine Rugyema (representing public universities) and Dr Moses N. Twesigye-omwe, the principal and secretary.
According to Dr Twesigye-omwe, the move would see Kichwamba upgraded to an Institute of Technology that would specialise in vocational, engineering, science and technology programmes. This would enable the institute offer programmes leading to the award of certificates, diplomas, bachelor's degrees and higher degrees.
"We should hold our first meeting before the end of the month - in any case the task force is expected to give its report to the ministry before the end of February 2013," Twesigye-omwe said.
The development comes at a time when the college has already responded to the recent upgrades in the curriculum - which called for a greater emphasis on the practical side of learning. Last year, the students built three residential houses and a staff club, fabricated a milling machine, repaired their college truck and installed electricity. The carpentry students also repaired and made new chairs for their classrooms and library.
At the graduation ceremony, 862 graduands received certificates, diplomas and higher diplomas. Of these, 765 (88.7%) are male while just 97 (11.3%) are female.
"The small numbers of female graduands suggest that there is need to encourage more females to take lifelong skills training programmes. I urge students to make the smart choice and invest in technical education; you will never regret," Twesigye-omwe said.