KAMPALA – Over 16,797 youth will on Friday October 6, 2023 graduate from the Presidential Initiative for Skilling the Girl/Boy Child, a project under State House.
According to Dr. Hilary Musoke, one of the four directors running the project, the youth from the nine skilling centres in Kampala District will be awarded certificates in different disciplines during a mega graduation ceremony to be presided over by President Museveni at Kololo.
Dr. Musoke said that the graduands will be awarded with certificates from the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT) in carpentry, shoemaking, weaving, embroidery, plumbing, and construction.
Other disciplines include knitting, electronics, electric installations, bakery and confectionery, hairdressing and make-up, motor mechanics, and metal fabrication.
As of today, 35728 students have benefited from the program that seems to empower Ghetto and less privileged urban youth with skills for self reliance.
Several students who acquired employable skills have previously given testimonies on how the skilling centres have transformed their lives into useful and productive young citizens.
According to the project brief, since inception over 35728 students have graduated from the programme with various skills.
Of those enrolled, at least 18,618 youth have graduated while about 16,797 from the 2019, 2022, and 2023 cohorts await graduation.
“Currently, we have got over 5,187 students undergoing training at various skilling centres who are due to sit their Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT) exams at the end of September 2023,” the brief shows.
“The project has achieved its intended objectives through the training offered, provision of startup capital, incorporating former students as instructors, employing them as skilled staff during our project works, and linking them to potential employers.
“The project remains committed to empower the Ghetto and vulnerable Urban Youth with employable skills for self-reliance, job and wealth creation, and curbing criminality in Kampala District; with the ultimate goal of seeing a modern, skilled, and prosperous Uganda, in line with National Development Plan III and Vision 2040,” the brief adds.
The program was launched in 2017 by the President with the main objective of equipping young girls with hands-on skills to enable them to create jobs and generate wealth.
The program started with 700 girls enrolled in two centers; Wandegeya and Subway.
Currently the program is being implemented in 9 centers which include; Wandegeya Market, Mulago Community Hall (Formerly Katanga), Mutundwe-All Saints Church of Uganda and Nakulabye-Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church
Other centres include Luzira at Luzira Prisons, Subway-Crested Towers roundabout, Wabigalo– WabigaloParish Community Hall, Kigoowa-Ntinda, Butikirwa Parish Catholic Church, and Kikoni- Makerere Community Hall.
Established in 2017, the project is headed by Dr. Faith Katana who is the Special Presidential Assistant for education and skilling.
Others directors include Dr. Hillary Musoke, Faridah Mayaja and Juliet Namale.
At a recent tour of one of the skilling centres, Dr. Katana called upon the business community to stop importing goods produced here such as shoes, and fabrics, among others, before assuring them that Uganda now has thousands of skilled youths who can make quality products ready for consumption.
The Project runs 06 months of Semester-based training where students are trained in their preferred skill, following a curriculum set by the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT) after which they are examined and certified by the same establishment under the Ministry of Education and Sports, thereafter, graduation follows.
Additionally, upon graduation, some of the students are provided with employment opportunities where possible, for example: incorporating them as training staff or Assistant Instructors. So far three-quarters of the training staff are Project’s former trainees.
Those not incorporated are given opportunities to exhibit their potential through in-house assignments, like construction, plumbing, welding, tailoring, repairs- etc. where need arises. In this regard, our former students constructed a five-stance lavatory for boys at Luzira center; modified the weaving class at Kigoowa Center and did several repairs and partitions at different centers including the recent renovations and modifications at Mulago center which include a shade for male predominant course, stores and 8 stance toilet.