By Stella Naigino
A training school for boda boda cyclists will be set up in Kampala to reduce road traffic accidents, the director of industrial training (DIT) in the education ministry, Sam Masolo, has disclosed.
Masolo said the centre will be set up by the motorcycle manufacturing firm, Yamaha, with support from DIT. It will be the first of its kind in Uganda.
“Hundreds of innocent people, including children, have at least in one way or the other been involved in fatal motorcycle accidents. At Mulago National Referral Hospital, many patients are nursing injuries ranging from bone fractures, permanent body injuries,” Masolo said.
Masolo made the remarks at the Yamaha Centre on Thursday while officiating at a graduation ceremony of the Workers’ PAS (Practically Acquired Skills), a scheme aimed at accrediting people who have marketable skills without the corresponding academic qualifications.
He said Police statistics show that boda boda accidents kill 500 and injure another 1,200 people in Uganda every year, mostly because of unskilled riders.
“The vast majority of boda boda riders do not pay attention to road signs and other motorists, that’s why in addition to training and awarding the Workers’ PAS. We will also train them how to ride motorcycles to avoid having unlicensed and untrained drivers,” Christopher Saazi, the Yamaha managing director said.
Masolo advised people with practical skills to register for the Workers’ PAS certification even if they do not have any formal education. Those who pass the practical test receive a Worker’s PAS (Worker’s Practically Acquired Skills), a passport-like document, certifying that they have the skills and competences for a particular occupation. Those who fail the test are given an opportunity to continue learning and take another test.
Currently, a consortium of organisations led by Swisscontact and Private Sector Foundation Uganda are implementing the Workers’ PAS scheme on behalf of the Government.The graduates will enter into service contracts with Yamaha.