Concerns have not rescinded of Ugandans growing youth unemployment, vand government officials are openly perturbed.
Despite last month’s rebasing of the economy which placed the country’s GDP at Sh. 68.4 trillion, a the 13% growth doesn’t indicate any relief in terms creation of more jobs for the sprouting youth numbers.
University graduates continue to wander on the streets jobless, while many others resorted to extreme means of living as crimes, sports betting, prostitution, and opting for demeaning jobs in unfriendly Asian nations.
The unrelenting cry amongst employers in the country is that of university graduates and tertiary institutions output that don’t add up to the requirements of the job market.
The extremely wanting graduate skills have also been decried by majority of foreign investors in the country. Experts such as Prof Augustus Nuwagaba of the Reeves Consults Uganda, pin the problem onto a passive education system of colonialists, who in fact left more than 50 years ago.
At the three-year-old Victoria University however, there is much trust that the most efficient way of addressing the experience gaps, is for job-entering graduates to take up short courses. The institution has addressed itself extensively to providing this avenue.
Even most employees in the market the university counsels, need continuous refresher courses to remain relevant in the dynamic job market, as stressed Vice Chancellor Dr Stephen Isabalija in a recent chat with Chimpreports.
“We are need as a country to comprehensively prepare our graduates, and that’s what we focusing on here,’’ he said.
To this effect, most of the university programs are led by industry experts, which the VC terms as a necessary move away from the old norm that “students must be trained by academicians.”
“Our students are being handled by diplomats and field experts. We have some of our journalists working in the major mainstream dailies in the country,’
Situated along Jinja road in the heart of the capital Kampala, students there believe Victoria University is among the best suited for working class of learners
Mr Fred Poggo, a student leader in the Humanities Department told us in an interview, “This is the most convenient place I have been to around the East Africa, for urban based employees taking short courses. There’s very minimal or no time lost in transporting oneself for classes, and that’s very paramount for every student,” he said.
The state of the art classrooms, air conditioned with modern learning equipment, Poggo says all ensure an entirely stress-free and uninterrupted study environment.
Owned and promoted by the Ruperalia Group of Companies, the University is also taking heights in training experts for the emerging oil industry, where a number of courses are being offered
“I think we are topping in the country in this sector,’ said VC Isabalija. “Since January we have trained more than 150 people,’ said the VC.