By Jackie Nambogga
President Yoweri Museveni has said Uganda’s education, which was built on a colonial legacy, is irrelevant to the country’s needs and should be reviewed.
Museveni said the system has created an attitude among parents and learners to only look for white collar jobs, thus failing to address unemployment among thousands of graduates as well as the rampant poverty.
“The existing education system tends to be theoretical and not relevant to our economic progress. The training system is not flexible and not competence-based,” he said in a speech read by Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi.
This was during the launch of a new education programme, “Skilling Uganda” at Jinja Vocational Training Institute on Tuesday.
The programme is meant to introduce short courses for Primary Seven, Senior Four and Six school drop-outs as well as university graduates.
The courses will lead to the award of certificates recognised in Uganda and internationally.
It will also give learners an opportunity to go through a parallel education programme; meaning learners can also be awarded certificates, diplomas, bachelors and masters degrees.
It will cost the Government about sh2 trillion over 10 years to have the new system implemented.
About 41,927 students are expected to have been admitted at various institutions by 2016/2017.
Museveni stressed the need to embrace and promote technical and vocational education to enhance development.
“At first, we used to undermine the Magezi ga Baganda (locally developed technologies). But this is the right direction where we should focus our attention as the country celebrates her Golden Jubilee,” he stressed.
The President observed that whereas in the past a certificate was enough to guarantee someone a job, today it has to be accompanied with skills in order to match with the demands of the job market.
Education minister Jessica Alupo noted that there is need for the Government to attract and retain instructors in vocational training institutions.
“There is a gap and as Government we are urgently considering measures to attract, recruit and retain instructors.”