Uganda: Universities Start Programme to Train Graduates Needed for Job Market

16 November 2019

Arrangements have been finalized to integrate both industries and private sector requirements into tertiary education curriculum as a strategy to train professionals required for the job markets.

The initiative dubbed Demand Driven Teaching (DDT) seeks to create platform to conduct practical training in institutions of higher learning to satisfy the requirements and developments of the job market in future.

University dons from the universities of Germany, Zambia and their Ugandan counterparts claim the programme will create a platform to enable dialogue and exchange among the 238 partner universities and student bodies to improve tertiary education to meet the requirements of the job market.

Makerere University Associate Professor Jackson Majaliwa Mwanjalolo said the move is geared towards encouraging young entrepreneurs to start their own businesses through integrating universities and business developments in an innovative way.

He explained that the project focuses on practical oriented and state of art master programme in integrated watershed management, climate smart watershed management and food security as well as a job market and research-uptake oriented incubator centre.

Under the arrangement, Prof Majaliwa revealed they will establish strategic linkages with Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UNCCI) to satisfy the requirements and developments of the job markets in order to produce graduates relevant for the job market.

"We want to create offers for young entrepreneurs leaving the University to get better chance of starting their own businesses and integrating the university and business developments in an innovative way. We incorporate and enhance internships in existing master programmes to offer a job oriented education and we conduct practical training in higher education institutions," he said.

UNCCI Managing Director, Mr Fred Festus Matovu Kigongo said at the closure of the pilot programme at Makerere University that there has been a gap between the business community and universities which affect students' performance in the field.

Mr Kigongo explained that the current higher education calls for demand driven teaching to help students satisfy the requirements and developments to the job market in the future.

"We will do all the best to promote demand driven teaching through strengthening collaboration and partnerships between the industries and the universities. We have already offered an office, computer and staff to this effect," Mr Kigongo said.

Prof Fred Babweteera, the assistant Principal at College of Agriculture at Makerere University said that the university seeks engage the industry in practical and research so that students produce students with required skills.

"We should try to incorporate the industry in our teaching by introducing guest lecturers to engage the students for practical because there is a mismatch between the employer who has failed to get a worker and a worker who is looking for a job," Prof Babweteera said.

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