Uganda is benchmarking Singapore in addressing youth unemployment through the development of technical and vocational education and training.
A Ugandan delegation headed by trade minister, Amelia Kyambadde, is in Singapore for the second Sub Saharan Africa High Level Ministerial Exchange visit and the 4th Africa Singapore Business Forum to learn from the Singapore experience in addressing some of the challenges facing developing countries and strengthening and accelerating ties between Africa and Asia specifically Singapore.
The High level Ministerial Exchange Visit is one of Singapore's initiatives to open up to African countries for partnerships geared towards sustainable development with emphasis on human capital development, development of residential cities and sustainable management of water resources.
While sharing Singapore's experience in building a skilled workforce during a visit to the Singapore Aviation Academy and the Institute of Technical Education by the visiting Ministers, the deputy CEO of the Institute Sabrina Loi said Singapore has changed goal posts by offering diversified and industry-relevant education with emphasis on technical and vocational education and training to build a skilled workforce that responds to dynamic economic and industry changes.
On the other hand, the institute of Technical Education that was opened in 2013 has four schools including the one in engineering, electronics and information-communication technology, business and services and design and media.
According to Loi, Singapore equips every child with 10 years of general education before post-secondary education and technical and vocational education and training.
"Our goal is to provide opportunities for all through provision of multiple learning pathways for students with different abilities and needs, regardless of starting point", said Loi.
Singapore has built a strong linkage between the technical and vocational training and education institute and the private sector industries, producing a skilled workforce that is relevant and on demand by the economy and industries thus mitigating the unemployment problem. The Singapore Government works closely with the industries which provide the equipment used in the training; participate in lecturing and eventually the take up all the students through enhanced internship and apprentices programs and later permanent employment.
Speaking during the visit, minister Kyambadde said Uganda could learn from the Singapore model to transform the education system by minds-on, hands-on and hearts-on education to address the problem of unemployment.
"If Ugandans can adopt the Singapore system by first understanding the concept of what they want to do which is the minds-on, practice what they have learnt which is the hands-on and eventually adopt and love what they do which is the hearts-on, Uganda will address unemployment especially among the youth", noted Kyambadde.