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Agricultural education boosted

By Carol Kasujja, Hudson Apunyo

Added 22nd October 2019 09:40 PM

Following a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Education and VVOB a Belgian Development organization, students studying Agriculture in colleges will have an opportunity for Industrial training.

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Toon De Bruyn signing the MoU alongside Kakooza as Rudi Veestraeten (L) and Dr. Jane Egau Okou look on. Photos by Hudson Apunyo

Following a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Education and VVOB a Belgian Development organization, students studying Agriculture in colleges will have an opportunity for Industrial training.

EDUCATION   AGRICULTURE

KAMPALA - Following a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Education and VVOB a Belgian Development organization, students studying Agriculture in colleges will have an opportunity for Industrial training.

The 3-year program worthy 2.5 euros will equip Agricultural lecturers from National Instructors’ college Abilonino in Lira and National Teachers Colleges in Mubende and Unyama, with entrepreneurial skills, continuous school practice, and development of farm crop and farm livestock.

Speaking at the MoU signing ceremony, Alex Kakooza, the ministry's permanent secretary, said that the project will strengthen the institutional capacity of all teacher education institutions to deliver quality hands-on agriculture education which is still wanting.


Toon De Bruyn exchanges documents with Charles Nyakito, the Principal of Unyama NTC

“Agriculture education being a backbone of Uganda’s economy and employing the biggest size of our labor force, it is very critical on our skills training agenda to train more youth with employable skills. We are now emphasizing reformed approaches to education delivery,” Kakooza said.

Kakooza noted that the theoretical teaching practices in several education institutions should be no more with the new approaches.

“Government of Uganda has approved a National Teachers Policy for Uganda that aims at revamping the way teachers deliver education as well as their professionalism. We would like to see practical, motivated and committed teachers in the education system acting as role models for all learners and the community. The lecturers in the teacher training institutions are now expected to acquire excellent teaching and training skills to produce the kind of teachers and instructors that are skilled to teach others,” noted Kakooza.


Toon De Bruyn (second left) soon after signing MoU with Kakooza as Rudi Veestraeten (L) and Dr. Jane Egau Okou, Commissioner in charge of Teacher Education and Instruction look on

In his speech, Rudi Veestraeten, the Belgium ambassador, said that solid improvement in the quality of Agricultural graduates can lead to solid performance improvement of the agricultural sector in Uganda.

He added that a better balance between classroom and practice in a real work environment adds value to agricultural training.

“Skilled labor in agriculture is key for economic growth. The truth is skills are lacking. Not only in the fields of commercial farms, but also in the agro-industry. Commercial companies today need to invest themselves in developing the skills of their staff. Graduates lack a basic understanding of key agricultural practices. This leads to enormous less productivity in the agricultural sector,” said Veestraeten.


Jonal Oyugi, a teaching assistant, agriculture department at National instructors college Abilonino showing cabbage grown at the college farm

Eng. Jorem Adutu, the Principal National Instructors’ college Abilonino noted that so far the college has registered positive public acceptance because of the new practices in place.

“Our training programs have been embraced wholeheartedly as this is evidenced by the increase in the students’ enrolment. It is space for student’s accommodation that has limited our capacity to admit more students,” said Adutu.

VVOB is a Belgian non-profit organisation that deals in improving the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of education.


Jorem Adutu with Kakooza (left) and others on a tour at the college before the signing of MoU

“We want Uganda’s youth to graduate from secondary School with sound agricultural and entrepreneurial skills and to obtain decent jobs that provide them with a quality livelihood. Working together, we form an invisible net of support for our youth to thrive,” said Toon De Bruyn, VVOB’s Programme’s manager.

Bruyn said that they choose to work with pre-service training lecturers and instructors because it reflects VVOB’s vision in which teachers and educational managers hold the keys for learners to succeed.

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