By Sarah M. Natumanya
Vocational education is a form of education based on occupation or employment, also known as career and technical education.
It can also be defined as a system or course of study that prepares individuals with jobs that are based on manual or practical activities. Vocational education can be secondary or post secondary and can be taken at any age.
Sometimes we do not have the abilities to make it to universities due to unavoidable circumstances say inefficient incomes, the grades we obtain or even the admission process we undergo.
We should not be worried, there are institutions that are ready to give us hands on skills and these are vocational institutes.
There is need to urgently opt for vocational education in Uganda because there is an incompatibility between the output of higher education and the labour market.
The education system of Uganda needs to significantly improve the quality of education and type of specialisation and generally needs to develop a new educational curriculum and training methods to align with the needs of the labour market.
Ugandan private sector requires technical and professional subjects and this would make the Uganda’s economy shift from excessive dependence on expatriate labour to rely on national employment.
For Uganda to develop, both the private sector and the public sector have to be active.
Secondly, the labour market of Uganda is becoming more specialised; there demand for high levels of skills in both government and private businesses has increased.
Vocational education and training is what can answer all the economic questions Uganda, if facing especially when it comes to Unemployment.
The theoretical education we obtain leaves us with no option other than seeking for jobs time and again. Added on with the levels of experience required to take on certain job opportunities, many graduates are left out of the equations.
Vocational Education offers a wide variety of options in administrative, business, computer technology, printing, agriculture, automobile, craftsmanship, laboratory, and cosmetic fields.
Specifically, these courses include typewriting, secretarial practices, computer operator, desktop publishing, laboratory technician, librarian, mechanic, electrical technician, plumbing, refrigeration and air conditioning, tailoring, beautician, etc.
Due to higher numbers of graduates, the public sector alone cannot provide jobs for all. This, therefore, calls for massive investment in vocational institutions where graduates will have skills that they can employ without waiting for jobs from the Government. In every institution there is need for technical personnels.
As an advocate for children missing out on education and learning I appeal to the public to join me in the struggle for establishment of more vocational institutes and the Government to sensitise the public about the significances of adopting vocational education aimed at helping children from different backgrounds acquire technical skills that will prepare them for Various job offers.
It is high time we stopped thinking that vocational education is for failures instead we should embrace it wholeheartedly, if the country is to realise development of both public and private sectors.
The writer is a global youth ambassador with A World at School