EDITORâ€”I am very concerned about vocational institutions in Uganda. On June 25, 2005, you published an article highlighting why vocational institutes yield poor results.
In view of the recent transformation in the education sector as well as Ugandaâ€™s new initiatives in education such as UPE and USE programmes, there is need to think about our vocational institutes which are faced with a variety of challenges. These challenges range from funding, personnel competence and lack of equipment.
How then will the USE graduates benefit from these institutes if the current situation still prevails? Not all hope is lost. Among the alternatives I wish to suggest is that the Government should consider redesigning the curriculum to be relevant to the job market demands. It should also ensure institutional relations through publicâ€“private partnerships in a sustainable manner.
This will include issues like incorporating information and communication technology lessons and introducing volunteer programmes where students will have hands-on training in their disciplines.
With such initiatives, it will help to boost the capacity of the institutes and address the problem of bad public opinion about vocational institutes as centres for the least academic performers.
The Government should, in its programme for â€˜Prosperity for Allâ€™ focus on the citizensâ€™ self- reliance, an initiative that will see the vocational institutes the best implementers in areas of training youths and other members of the community in technical skills. This will in the end see our dream of industrialisation come true.
This will only happen if there is consideration of capacity building for staff in all vocational institutes in Uganda and adequate budget allocations to tertiary institutions.We donâ€™t have to be great to start but we must start to be great.
Narasi Kambaho Anyijuka
Vocational institutes need boosting