The vice chancellor Clarke International University (CIU) Dr. Rose Clarke Nanyonga has underscored the need for a tertiary institution curriculum review as one way of solving Uganda’s nagging unemployment problem.
Nanyonga made the call at the launch of a four year education partnership between the university and the Norwegian Agency for Development (NORAD) that took place at the School of Business and Applied Technology at Muyenga, in a deal worth 16.4 million Norwegian Kroner (roughly two million USD).
While addressing the press, Nanyonga observed that every passing year, the rate of unemployed graduates continues to swell simply because they are ill-equipped for today’s competitive and innovation driven job market, something that emanates from classical models of teaching.
”As you can realize, the number of unemployed graduates in recent years has nearly tripled but most of these are not employable. You do not just set up a wonderful hall full of computers; we are looking at how trainees can become software craftsmen able to contribute to the ICT sector growth”, she explained.
According to a 2016 Uganda Bureau of Statistics(UBOS) report titled “Labour: Market transition of young people in Uganda”, the national unemployment rate for people with tertiary level qualifications currently stands at 11.8%.
Separately, another report dating three years ago by the finance ministry indicates that each passing year, 700,000 individuals are churned into the labour market.
On the same note, Arne Haug the counsellor of trade and energy at the Norwegian embassy lauded the ICT skills-centered partnership as one way of stimulating the economic growth and job creation.
Speaking to Chimp Reports, Haug noted that vast opportunities in Uganda’s rapidly growing telecommunications sector largely remain untapped due to lack of skilled personnel.
”The ICT sector in Uganda has been growing at average rate of 20% annually for the last five years. This has created widespread demand for IT products. I am therefore happy that this project will educate Ugandan students in this field”, Haug notes.
Bram Van Den Bosch the managing director of Laboremus, one of the partner organizations pointed out that in order for institutions of higher learning to produce top notch IT students, they must blend theory with hands on experience.
According to Micheal Niyitegeka the programme director, the program dubbed ”Accelerated Learning Course” intends to begin with 2,500 students come March next year. Also as part of this arrangement, the most capable students shall be offered the opportunity to work with elite technological firms for 6 to 12 months.
The three month course supported by Fontes Foundation, Laboremus and NORAD encompasses leadership training, critical thinking, IT project management as well as introductions to different technologies among other aspects.