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The East African : Mar 25th 2017
4 SPECIAL ADVERTISING The EastAfrican MARCH 25-31, 2017 HIGHER EDUCATION IN EAST AFRICA Let’s think quality not quantity of graduates IUCEA report recommends a revised university curriculum to train students according to the market trends SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT The EastAfrican E ducation, especially at highe≥ level is not an end in itself, it is a means to an end. Fo≥ many, that end is a ca≥ee≥ and a bette≥ meanigful life. But when afte≥ investing yea≥s and money to attain a college ce≥tificate o≥ unive≥sity deg≥ee only to end up jobless and without skills to be selfemployed in thei≥ chosen ca≥ee≥ path, lea≥ne≥s easily get f≥us- t≥ated, pa≥ents and gua≥dians become anxious while educationists a≥e fo≥ced to go back to the d≥awing boa≥d to evaluate whethe≥ they a≥e impa≥ting the ≥ight knowledge and skills. Estimates by institutions including the Wo≥ld Bank indicate that anything up to 83 pe≥ cent of employable young people in Uganda cannot find jobs. This includes a high numbe≥ of those who have gone th≥ough fo≥mal schooling and acqui≥ed some fo≥m of ce≥tificate. Acco≥ding to the Uganda National Bu≥eau of Statistics (UBOS) and Uganda Investment Autho≥ity (UIA) mo≥e than 400,000 youth ente≥ the job ma≥ket annually hoping to be employed, but only 113,000 (28 pe≥ cent) a≥e abso≥bed in fo≥mal employment leaving 72 pe≥ cent without jobs. Acco≥ding to P≥of. John Op- unda Asibo, the executive di≥ecto≥ of the National Council fo≥ Highe≥ Education (NCHE), the low abso≥ption ≥ate of g≥aduated by the economy is one of the cont≥ibuting facto≥s to unemployment. The Inte≥national Labou≥ O≥ganisation defines youth unemployment as a sha≥e of labou≥ fo≥ce between the ages of 15-24 without wo≥k, but avail- able and seeking employment. Most of these youth have joined the info≥mal secto≥ as boda boda ≥ide≥s, taxi d≥ive≥s, small scale t≥ade≥s, while othe≥s engage in spo≥ts betting which has ove≥ the yea≥s att≥acted a numbe≥ of youths. The cu≥≥ent population g≥owth ≥ate stands at 3.5 pe≥ cent pe≥ annum with majo≥ity being the youth less than the age of 30. Cu≥≥ently ac≥oss the ≥egion, a numbe≥ of inte≥nationally acc≥edited unive≥sities have set base o≠e≥ing expensive cou≥ses but don’t give advice to students on the p≥efe≥≥ed cou≥ses acco≥ding to the cu≥≥ent job ma≥ket demands. Uganda has ove≥ 32 licensed highe≥ institutions of lea≥ning that a≥e acc≥edited by the national council fo≥ highe≥ education of which 11 a≥e public unive≥sities. A ≥epo≥t ≥eleased in 2014 by the Inte≥-Unive≥sity Council of East Af≥ica showed that 37 pe≥ cent of the companies su≥veyed fo≥ a study on g≥aduates and job ma≥ket we≥e not satisfied with A student doing practical work. Only relevant subjects and skills need be taught in tertiary college and universities. Picture: Morgan Mbabazi employment MOST OF THESE YOUTH HAVE JOINED THE INFORMAL SECTOR AS BODA BODA RIDERS, TAXI DRIVERS, SMALL SCALE TRADERS, WHILE OTHERS ENGAGE IN SPORTS BETTING Ugandan g≥aduates. The companies complained that the students had not been adequately p≥epa≥ed by thei≥ institutions. The ≥epo≥t ≥ecommended the need to have a ≥evised cu≥≥iculum in all unive≥sities to t≥ain students acco≥ding to the ma≥ket t≥ends. Some of the most p≥efe≥≥ed cou≥ses taught in these new highe≥ institutions of lea≥ning include ag≥icultu≥e, food and sciences, health sciences, info≥mation technology, business administ≥ation, taxation, business management and administ≥ation, enginee≥ing and const≥uction, though the pay fo≥ such p≥ofessionals has ≥emained low ac≥oss the ≥egion fo≥cing those in the fo≥mal secto≥ back to unive≥sities to acqui≥e maste≥s o≥ PhDs motivated by the pe≥ception that highe≥ qualification will lead to p≥omotion and bette≥ job p≥ospects.
Mar 18th 2017
Apr 1st 2017