By Andrew Masinde
A truck loaded with merchandise speeds past us, raising a cloud of dust which cuts off our view of Jinja Vocational
Institute standing across the road.
An aura of a peaceful, spacious, tidy and green environment welcomes one to Jinja Technical and Vocational Institute. The newly renovated institute is a beauty rising out of the pit it had sunk into three years ago.
It is a relief to step off the dusty pot-holed roads of Jinja town, onto a large and well maintained compound with paved paths. Built in 1982 as a model technical and vocational training institute in mid eastern Uganda, it has stood the test of time.
It was initially meant for 120 students. However, today it boasts of a population of 400 students. In 1985, the Government together with the World Bank reconstructed the institute.
“If you had visited this institute in 2009, you would appreciate the great work done by government in revamping it,” the deputy principal, Lazarus Ngaga- Zangu says.
The institute now has well– equipped workshops, with state- of- the- art machines.
The Government has also been restocking the institute. Ngaga-Zangu says: “We give our students the best education. We are confident that they are able to deal with the world when they leave the institute.”
He explains that they emphasise quality and quantity of craftsmen and women by empowering them with skills that make them self-reliant.
Ngaga-Zangu adds that the institute’s objectives are to impart knowledge, skills and attitudes in its learners and prepare them for the world of work. The institute has a large ICT centre that is well–equipped that no other institute in the country.
“It gives a teacher encouragement to work here. It is the same reason why our students emerge the best in technical education. We have well–equipped workshops and have almost all the resources we need,” the head of plumbing, Robert Gukyeire says.
He applauds the Government for its commitment in uplifting the standards of the institution. The institute also has a well stocked library. “All the books that a student needs are available here. Our students have the resources to carry out almost all their research projects,” Fred Oula, the librarian says.
The institute provides students with skills in electrical installation and fitting, motor vehicle mechanics, welding and fabrication, among others. Other courses at the institute include plumbing and pipe fitting, carpentry and Joinery and tailoring.
The Government, in 2010, allocated Jinja Vocational Training Institute sh2.6b for its renovation and expansion. The project involved the construction of a new girls’ dormitory, expansion of the information communication technology workshop as well as renovation of all buildings at the institute.