Officials managing 12 vocational institutes this afternoon (Friday) met at the Education ministry headquarters in Kampala to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
The MoU aims at helping the national technical colleges to provide high quality, demand driven skills. The ten-year programme that started in 2011 and is expected to run up to 2020 is funded by the World Bank under the $100m Uganda Skills Development Project.
It puts emphasis on technical empowerment, de-stigmatisation of business, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (BTVET) (BTVET), hands-on learning and partnership to leverage more resources.
Minister for Higher Education John Chrysestom Muyingo said if Uganda is to advance, there is a need to popularize tertiary education.
“If we are to realize sustainable development, we need to strengthen tertiary education in Uganda,” Muyingo, who is also an educationalist, revealed.
Some officials at the Education ministry said many primary school leavers and Senior Four graduates are increasingly turning to vocational education and training.
Courses offered include motor vehicle mechanics, electrical installation, welding and metal fabrication, block laying, plumbing and fitting as well as carpentry and joinery.
In 2011, the NRM government injected Shs200b in the project. After just a few months, the Belgian government gave a Shs58b grant to NRM government to support BTVET.
The grant was aimed at supporting colleges like Muni National Teachers College, Kaliro Teachers College, Mulago Health Tutors Training College and Abilonino Community Polytechnic Instructors’ Training College.
Education analysts said there is need to prepare comprehensive action plans to promote skills development.
Education experts like Prof Venancius Baryamureeba are advocating for aggressive marketing of vocational education to students in order to attract talent and innovation. Also vocational education must be introduced in schools.