The President offers startup capital worth over sh500m to 317 graduates of Lutunku Community Polytechnic.
By Davis Buyondo & Rosset Nampeebwa
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has offered startup capital worth over sh500m to 317 graduates of Lutunku Community Polytechnic in Sembabule district.
Museveni, who was chief guest at the institute’s graduation ceremony, also donated several tool kits and machineries to students who completed courses in various fields.
Each of the graduates received sh1m cash plus tool kits and machines or equipment to setup their own businesses – an offer that delighted the graduates and school administrators.
This was considered the first offer of its kind in the education sector in Greater Masaka region.
Lutunku Polytechnic in Lugusuulu sub-county in Mawogola North Constituency is President Museveni’s brainchild.
It was established to equip students with skills to be self-employed or job creators after graduating.
Among the courses offered at the institute include dairy keeping, carpentry and joinery, bricklaying and concrete practice, motor-vehicle mechanics, tailoring, catering, food preparing and processing, electrical installation and hair dressing among others.
“If you get the skills, you cannot fail to get a job because skills can give you enough wealth,” said the President.
He also advised the graduates to use the capital wisely so as to develop themselves and also encourage other youths to join technical education.
In order to promote technical education, Museveni said there is a plan of setting up a polytechnic institute in every constituency in order to create jobs to bridge a gap of unemployment in the country.
At the same event, the President gave Greater Kisozi Students’Association sh100m, 10 motorcycles for Lutunku bodaboda cyclists and sh400m for building Gomba district headquarters.
Museveni further advised the institute’s administrators to include ceramics courses for the fact that they have enough market in and outside Uganda.
He therefore called on the education ministry to create a fund that would enable graduates from polytechnic institutions to get loans to start businesses.
Education minister Jessica Alupo said such donations help to redeem graduates and the government as far as job creation is concerned.
She said most of the youths have skills that are not compatible with available jobs, adding that encouraging them to join polytechnic institutes would help them polish their skills.
She added that government has also implemented a number of programs aimed at creating employment specifically for youth.
Evelyn Zalwango Lubwama, the Head Instructor Lutunku Community Polytechnic, applauded President Museveni for supporting the graduates and the institute.
She said that in many cases graduates are discouraged by the high interest bank loans.
The institute has always faced financial challenges which affect the availability of materials and other facilities for practical lessons, she added.
Paul Mukisa, one of the carpentry and joinery graduates, said he will use the capital to set up his workshop and employ idle youths.
Nakiganda, who attained skills in tailoring, said she will use the sewing machine to make unique designs for to sell.
Flanked by Minister Alupo, the President toured different exhibition points of products and later commissioned a polytechnic workshop.
Youth unemployment remains a serious policy challenge in Uganda.
Museveni donates sh500m startup capital to Sembabule graduates