Last year, the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) carried out assessment and it was discovered that eight of out of every 10 primary school teachers who had in previous year qualified to teach could neither read nor solve basic primary level mathematics questions. This indicated deterioration in primary schools.
Martin Wandera, the Director for Labour, employment in the ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development has said poor education foundation in many primary schools countrywide has resulted into low literacy and numeracy skills in people even after education.
He said this has made many graduates fail to compete favourably in job market and called for government’s urgency to address it. Last year, the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) carried out assessment and it was discovered that eight of out of every 10 primary school teachers who had in previous year qualified to teach could neither read nor solve basic primary level mathematics questions. This indicated deterioration in primary schools.
Speaking during the breakfast workshop organised by Kyambogo University Faculty of Vocational Studies at Imperial Royale Hotel on Thursday, Wandera said: “Some years back, some primary school teachers sat for Primary Living Examination tests and they failed which makes the quality of children they teach questionable.
Most of them failed Mathematics yet it’s application is needed in every aspect of life.”He added that employers need more than just academic qualification arguing that competency and innovations are paramount. He asked universities and other tertiary institutions to not only impart knowledge to the learners but also the ability to learn new ideas at work places.
“There’s skills mismatch between the job market and training institutions and that’s why many find it difficult to get jobs,” he said adding: “While at the work place, think hard and innovate. Employability goes beyond having the skill for the first job.”
Prof. Fabian Nabugoomu, the Kyambogo University Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Finance and Administration said lack of enough skills among job seekers make some investors import workers from the neighboring countries.
He said skilled population in terms of industrial agenda, research and practical work is one of the key aspirations by the Government in the vision 2040 saying universities and other institutions must work hard to impart skills to learners so that they create jobs for themselves and employ other people.
“Institutions must acknowledge government’s aspirations and make sure that they fulfill it especially through equipping learners with skills,” he stated.
Nabugoomu said there’s need to work hard and impart numeracy skills to learners. “Every time during release of results, officials say pupils have failed Mathematics; Is it because Mathematics is hard? We must deal with foundation skills because they are applicable throughout the whole life,” he said.
Dick Kamugasha, a director at Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI) said the Government must invest in skills development to learners as a possible way to compete in the world job market. He also said there’s need people in informal sector should also be trained in basic communication skills.
“You find someone can make quality furniture but doesn’t know how to explain his work to the client. Informal sector workers should undergo training and get required communication skills,” he stated.