15 February 2013

Uganda: Schools Not Ready for Skilling Uganda - Minister

The Minister of State for Higher Education, Dr. John Chrysostom Muyingo, has said most vocational and health institutions in the country are not adequately prepared for the Skilling Uganda project.

"The presidential initiative to equip every Ugandan with vocational skills is facing a number of challenges that need to be addressed if any results are to be achieved," he said.

Muyingo said this during an inspection of Butabika School of Psychiatric Clinical officers.

This was part of the nationwide tour of all vocational and health institutions to evaluate their capability to carry out the Skilling Uganda project.

"We want to find out the gaps in these institutions and how the Government can come in to enable them equip students with practical skills that will enable them to compete favourably in the market," he said.

The minister noted that one of the biggest challenges that the project has encountered is the attitude of the parents, students and the trainers themselves. He said they, for example, have a feeling that doing tailoring or a certificate in computer studies is for failures.

Muyingo added that the other challenges they face are the few people with the required skills, inadequate facilities and the low enrolment levels for the programmes.

"At Butabika School of Psychiatric Clinical Officers, the computer laboratory has only three working computers for all the students. The staffing level is low - at around 40-50%, which leaves the available tutors overworked," said David Basangwa, the chairman of the school's governing council.

Two trillion shillings has been budgeted for the Skilling Uganda project.

It will involve the formal and informal training institutions which are under both the Government and the private sector.

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