By Jeff Andrew Lule
Construction of a sh5b technical institute in Namutumba district has commenced.
Basoga Nsadhu Memorial Institute which is funded by the government is the in the memory of the late Information minister, Basoga Nsadhu.
Addressing a Joint Youth District Assembly at the district headquarters, the district speaker George Damba said the youth petitioned the district council for a technical school to help those who cannot access university studies and other higher institutions of learning.
“We took the matter to the responsible authorities in the central government and they accepted to give us the technical school,” he added.
The meeting was organized by Actionaid Uganda, Busiki Local Rights Program (LRP) under their Activista youth program, to discuss issues affecting the youth in the district.
The district education officer, Henry Magoma said the institute is to offer six courses including; home economics, plumbing, motor vehicle engineering, electrical installation, carpentry and agricultural components.
He said the institute will award certificates and offer refresher courses.
He stressed that many youth were dropping out of higher education due to lack of funds and that the technical school will admit the dropouts.
He also noted that the technical school will offer an alternative to higher education since the district has only four Universal Secondary Education (USE) schools with A’Level in four sub counties out of seven.
“Some schools are located far away for students to walk. This is one of the causes to the student’s dropout. Others have no money to go to private schools in areas we don’t have USE with A ‘Level,” he noted.
Magoma said they want to make sure that each sub county gets A’Level USE School within the next three years in light of improving the student-school ratio.
Actionaid has already trained 100 youth through the Activsta program,in different skills to participate in all spheres of development sustainability and improve their livelihoods.
“We are helping them to start projects like brick laying, poultry and support those in agriculture. We are planning to provide ox- ploughs to those in farming at every parish,” said Ednance Kiiza of Actionaid.
Magoma also noted that they intend to institute a comprehensive resource centre in Namutumba town council to improve literacy in the area.
Speaking at the same function several youth accused the district leadership for neglecting them.
The district youth chairperson, Ronald Kirya said government allocates them sh3.7m annually, but in last three years, the district has not supplemented to effectively run their projects.
He said many youth remain semi-illiterate and skilled due to educational challenges, saying that only four USE schools have A’Level in the district.
Magoma further said many youth cannot be absorbed by employment opportunities in public service due to lack of the required qualifications.
Kirya noted that because of this, many youth have been left with no option but drug abuse and betting.
He said few projects in the area are supported by Actionaid through their Activista Program supporting the youth to start projects to improve their livelihood.
The youth called for more funding to start meaningful projects and more schools with A’level for better qualifications.