‘We Need Skilled Employees Not Degrees’ – Dr. Muvawala

‘We Need Skilled Employees Not Degrees’ – Dr. Muvawala

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By Hanning Mbabazi

Kampala: The executive director National Planning Authority Dr. Joseph Muvawala has urged government to engage itself in promoting more technical institutes into public universities, so as to improve industrialists represented on the National curriculum board if the education sector is to produce skilled labor.

Muvawala  revealed this when the board of NPA had met Speaker Rebecca Kadaga Monday evening, “While we have excellent plans, we have a challenge with implementation at the sectoral level which has to be dealt with. You notice that Parliament approved money from the World Bank many years ago to set up an industrial park in Namanve but a big chunk of that money was taken back due to poor implementation,” he said. He advised the government to start concentrating on the available resources. “As we go for industrial parks, let us concentrate these resources and have an impact”, he added. The board also raised an alarm that government had not utilized the 22 Industrial parks that were established in 1999. The Authority also warned on how majority of the Ugandan employees with training in oil exploration and management have not been certified by the responsible international bodies, thus recommending government to put a moratorium on elevating technical institutes into public universities arguing the country now has enough degrees and what it needs are skilled people from technical institutions.

“The people in industries understand the kind of people they need. People in institutions understand how best to train the students. These two must meet because as the world changes, the curriculum must change!” According to the International Labor Organization (ILO) definition, Uganda’s measured unemployment rates are relatively low for the region though they have been increasing overtime from 1.9 percent in 2005/06, to 3.6 percent in 2009/10, and to 5.1 percent in 2012). At the same time, the characteristics of the unemployed vary widely. Urban youth are more likely to be unemployed (12 percent) than rural youth (3 percent). In addition, female youth are twice as likely to be unemployed compared to male youth. Interestingly, the report notes that unemployment increases with the level of education attained: Unemployment is lower among persons with no education and primary education, and higher among those with secondary education and above. This is not to negate the importance of education – as it is widely known that education is a significant factor in securing good employment over time – however, the more educated are biased towards wage-paying formal jobs, which are harder to find. Indeed, persons with education above the secondary level are more likely to be in wage employment percent) compared to those with primary education (18 percent), and their earnings tend to be higher.

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