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Vocational training short route to prosperity

By Vision Reporter

Added 1st March 2011 03:00 AM

FORTY-year-old Modesty Budili is proud about the skills he got from a technical school. Budili, who had dropped out of school at Senior Four, has a certificate in carpentry from Koboko Vocational Institute. He graduated after two years.

FORTY-year-old Modesty Budili is proud about the skills he got from a technical school. Budili, who had dropped out of school at Senior Four, has a certificate in carpentry from Koboko Vocational Institute. He graduated after two years.

By Juliet Lukwago

FORTY-year-old Modesty Budili is proud about the skills he got from a technical school. Budili, who had dropped out of school at Senior Four, has a certificate in carpentry from Koboko Vocational Institute. He graduated after two years.

“Life would have been difficult for some of us who could not afford school fees in higher institutions if vocational schools were not here,” says Budili, who owns a wood workshop in Koboko.

Geraldine Namirembe Bitamazire, the education minister, says a vocational institute grooms experts in different skills within a short time.

She says those who cannot make it to university and other higher institutions can join vocational training institutions for more practical knowledge.

“The alternative way for those who cannot make it or afford university and higher secondary education is to join technical and vocational institutes,” Bitamazire says.

She adds: “The reason we put more of such institutions is to ensure that every Ugandan achieves their dream. Those who say it is for failures are wrong. In fact within a short period, this kind of education will be more popular.” Vocational institutions impart all-round development skills, build confidence and develop interpersonal relationship and the knowledge needed for people to manage their own lives.

Joseph Damudali, a tutor at Koboko Vocational Institute, trains youth in courses like carpentry, electronics engineering in Radio and TV, mobile phone repairs, plumbing, hairdressing and motorcycle repair.

Damudali says vocational schools focus on marketable skills which are on high demand and can be easily applied in the real world.

“People should know that dropping out of school in lower classes is not the end of the world. There is always another chance for you to achieve your dream,” Damudali says.

Budili laments that people still consider graduates of vocational institutions as school drop-outs.

“The stereotype that vocational graduates are failures in life should be fought by the education ministry through sensitising the communities,” he adds.

Yet the world over, it is usually considered that technical education provides social and educational opportunities for ‘able and creative’ individuals, be it high school drop-outs or not.

From the proceeds of his carpentry work, Budili can now afford to look after his four children and pay rent and wages of his five employees.

Just about every building in your community was at least partially built by skilled carpenters.

To be a carpenter is to be a member of one of the oldest and most respected trades.

One can build a lifetime career in carpentry, if they enjoy working with tools.

A qualified carpenter is expected to carry out woodwork jobs on sites and be able to make joinery items in the workshop efficiently.

The carpentry course is therefore designed to develop these skills to make the trainee proficient in the wood working trade.

There are more than 45 vocational and training institutions in the country which provide skills training to the multitude who do not make it to higher institutions of learning.

Vocational training short route to prosperity

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