By Frank Kamuntu
Over two hundred sixty-three (263) students graduated with Diplomas and Certificates in different disciplines at the 4th Graduation Ceremony of Mengo Business and Technical Institute, located in Nansana, Wakiso district.
The very joyous event was organized by the school administrators and graced by Mr Patrick Byakatonda, the Director of Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT) as Chief Guest.
Byakatonda congratulated the graduands for having gone through hardships but still not withdrawn efforts, which finally led them to end the journey with graduation. He also asked them to utilize the skills gained from their studies to transform their nation.
He also told them that “It’s not enough to rely on the skills gained at this level but you should go ahead and seek more wisdom, which will help you acquire new skills that will lead to the fulfillment of your dreams.”
“As you graduate today, it doesn’t mean that your quest for learning stops here. Rather, you are just about to begin a long journey,” Byakatonda added.
However, the Chairperson Board of Governors of the Institute Mr Henry Asiimwe showed concern about the scarcity of jobs in Uganda, saying that so far available offices in the country cannot accommodate all the youth that are released to the job market each year.
He expressed his anger at government which he blamed for failing to reform the education system to focus on the 8 learning areas to wit; science, Math, Creative Arts, Life Education, Languages, Social Studies, religious studies, technology and entrepreneurship.
“As you go to the competitive field of work, aim at starting small and growing big. So this experience gained here has equipped you with a critical set of skills to set you off, therefore don’t get discouraged by some initial failures,” Asiimwe advised.
The Principal Eng. Joshua Birungi analyzed the institute’s progress since its establishment in 1994 at Musajjalumbwa Road in Mengo before they shifted in 2006 to their permanent premises in Nansana.
He said since then they have trained and graduated so many technicians who are now comfortably serving in government and others in private organizations.
He condemned the historical education structure that was left behind by colonial masters in the 1960’s, which emphasizes theory and academic progress against practical skilling of learners. He thus requested Ugandans to change their mindsets towards technical and business education from being known as courses for people who performed poorly in secondary schools.
“We are facing challenges of unemployment because of a traditional historical background but I appeal you to embrace skills for self-reliance employment since we have been training you to become job creators, not job-seekers” Principal advised.