By Damba Rogers.
In a bid to improve on skills development among Ugandans, the government of Uganda through its implementing agency, private sector foundation Uganda has given UGX.1.2 billion to Kabasanda technical institute to help boost skills of the students, with the money to be used to buy modern machines for teaching.
Through the skills development fund project currently under implementation, government of Uganda targets to have thousands of Ugandans acquire necessary skills needed by the job market which most employers say, are lacking among most Ugandan workers hence, the increased unemployment in the country which stands at 4.7% with youth accounting for 4.1%.
Speaking at the handover ceremony of the cheque to the school administration, the head of the skills development fund, Ruth Biyinzika Musoke states that the support to training institutions in the country, Kabasanda in particular, is geared at having them offer courses that the industry or businesses want adding that, many institutions don’t have the latest technology to ensure that their training is up to standard to bridge the current skills miss match in the manufacturing and service sectors across the country.
Mrs. Biyinzika says, the training done by most institutions are theoretical, Kabasanda being among them. She further challenges Ugandan companies to endeavor take up students under training in various institutions for industrial training for them to get a feel of what is done and needed, in terms of skills in the industries as this will then transform the students and by the time they are passed out of school at the end of their studies, they can then be able to operate the machines.
With Ugandan parents and guardians still locked in the old age of having their children go through the orthodox system of education right from primary to university, Mrs. Biyinzikastrongly advises them to,”always take their children to vocational training institutions for them to get hands on skills that cannot be got from universities.”
She further states, through this system children can be able to start up jobs for themselves, not only that, they can be easily employed by companies and industries across the country and later can upgrade through the orthodox education system.
Of the UGX. 1.2 billion (74%) provided to the institute under the technical education learning system project to be undertaken in one year under window three category of the skills development fund provided by the Ugandan government and the world bank, the institution will contribute UGX.439,170,920 (26
On receiving the funding, the principal, Kabasanda technical institute, Hadijah Nakakande Senyondo mentions that the institute teaches eight technical course namely, electrical installation systems and maintenance, electrics technology, automotive mechanics, wood work technology, plumbing, fashion and garment design, leather training and shoe making and build construction with the formal courses lasting for two years. But sights gaps still existing within the skills training schools with focus on Kabasanda technical institute which she says affects learning hence resulting into passing out products that are not fully ready to take on duties in the job market.
Nakakande is now sure that with this support from PSFU, they will be able to acquire the necessary machines that will be used to train students get better and modern skills which they will use when they move to the job market.
However, Rehmah a leather turning and shoe making student and Hasfah studying fashion and garment design both in their second year at the institute complain of not having enough practicals even when their courses demand that they should do more of practical than theories. But now have high hope that the coming of this project will solve their problems since it targets the youth, women who need skills for their well being.
Kabasanda technical institute, a government aided institution located 45kms away from Kampala, Uganda’s capital in Kalamba subcounty, Butambala district, Buganda region was started in 1982 and sits on over 50 acres of land, boasts of a population of 280 students currently, with females accounting for 20% and males 80%.