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Uganda, South Korea Unveil US$ 7 Million Project To Build Capacity Of Vocational Institutions

Six technical and vocational institutions are scheduled to benefit from a capacity building project funded by the government of South Korea to a tune of over 26 billion shillings.

The project launched on Friday at Gold Course hotel in Kampala shall benefit 180 instructors and 2400 trainees from Ntinda Vocational Training Institute, Arua Technical Institute Ragem, Kiryandongo Technical Institute, St Benedict Technical Institute in Mubende, Nyakatare Technical Institute in Kanungu and Iganga Technical Institute. Trainings for both instructors and trainees shall run from 2022 to 2026.

According to the Director for Higher Technical and Vocational Education and Training, Jane Egau, the project includes capacity building for instructors at Technical and Vocational and Education Training-TVET institutions and trainees at the institutions and also the development of a curriculum updated to address the needs of the Industry.

During the project period, Egau explains that they will conduct short term programs based on Industry demands in five 5 trades of electricity, automobile, welding Plumbing and fashion design.

Through the project, government shall establish cooperation systems where training institutions and companies in the respective Industries shall enter an understanding to share information intended to improve the skilling programs in order to produce graduates with skills matching the demands of the world of work.

Egau says that the trainers shall also be trained in managing and maintaining new technologies which the institutes acquired from donors and further retool them on the latest skills needed by the industry.

Dr. Chey Tae-won from the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry KCCI says that using experts from Uganda and Korea, they have developed a curriculum which is relevant to the needs of the job market in all the five fields that they are working in. He adds that trainers shall be trained on the new curriculum to enable them deliver it to the learners.

Under this project, they have designed six months training courses and text books shall be used by the instructors on the program.

Dr. Chey Tae-won, notes that with the advancement in technology, there is need to retool instructors such that they are well knowledgeable of the trends and needs of the industry.

He says that they shall also conduct exchange programs where instructors and learners from these institutions shall be taken to Korea to interact with peers in the same field. They shall also engage in local and international technology fairs for exposure to latest technologies used in their fields.

This project is a follow-up of the Korea 4 project which saw the rehabilitation and expansion of five (5) technical institutes and the establishment of one vocational training Institute in Ntinda. At the conclusion of Korea 4 project, in 2018, the Ministry of Education started drafting the current project and submitted the draft to the Ministry of Finance.

In 2020, the Korean government through the Korea International Cooperation Agency-KOICA confirmed funding and hence entered a Memorandum of Understanding MoU with the government of Uganda in November that year. Since then the project steering committee has been in preparation stages. The project period of 2020 to 2027 although skilling and retooling programs shall be conducted from 2022 to 2026.

The State Minister for Higher Education JC. Muyingo, officials from the Ministry of Education says this is just one of the projects that government is engaged in as it seeks to enhance vocational training in the country especially among the youth.

Muyingo says that Uganda being a predominantly young nation, it is important to equip the young people such that they can be more employable and create their own jobs. He says government plans to extend vocational training to every constituency through establishment of Vocational Institutions.

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