By: Ismael Kasooha
President Yoweri Museveni has asked universities and other tertiary institutions to offer courses that can feed the current job market especially the private sector.
This was contained in the President’s message delivered for him by the Prime Minister of Uganda Robinah Nabbanja at the 13th graduation for Busitema University in Busia District on Friday.
Museveni said that the University was important to society because it was responsible for training the human resource to transform the country.
Prime Minister launching the Center of Excellence at Busitema University on behalf of the President
“The 1,400 graduands, who have been awarded Degrees, Diplomas and Certificates, in various fields today, are a crucial addition to the human resource in Uganda. Graduation is simply an indicator that you are prepared to walk out of the University gates and utilize the acquired skills and knowledge, to offer solutions to the challenges in the society. It means that you are now better equipped to act as an agent of socio-economic transformation in society. You are the University’s ambassadors in the society,” said the president.
The president noted that it was crucial that Universities and other tertiary institutions understood the legitimate interests of society and designed their curriculum in line with those interests.
Museveni said that the NRM had ushered Uganda into modernity and this meant eliminating the subsistence modes of production, which satisfies only the need for food and replacing them with commercial agriculture, industries, services and ICT. These are the four sectors where families and companies can select profitable enterprises to create jobs and wealth.
“Since 1986, the NRM has been committed to the goal of ensuring that we have an educated and healthy human resource to drive Uganda’s development and socio-economic transformation. There are countries, such as Japan, that are among the developed nations, despite having no minerals, because they have a highly educated and skilled population. However, for us, we are lucky, to have both the natural resources and now an educated population,” the message read in part.
The president said that this had created a mismatch between the University curriculum and the job market in the private sector. The outcome is the unemployment problem among the young graduates.
“The focus of the NRM government is on the creation of jobs and wealth for the households. We have made commendable progress in resolving the bottleneck of poor infrastructure, which rendered Uganda unattractive for business and investment. The country boasts of enough electricity, good, tarmacked roads, peace and stability etc. These are important because they help to lower the costs of doing business in an economy. The prevailing favourable conditions of peace, security, good infrastructure etc., must be translated into jobs and wealth,” he said.
The president encouraged the graduands to stay healthy in order to make a meaningful contribution to the prosperity of your families and country.
“Therefore, I would like to use this opportunity to encourage the graduands to be at the forefront of mobilizing their families and communities to participate in production in the four sectors of: commercial agriculture, industries, services and ICT. I would like to emphasize the importance of enterprise selection. You should select an enterprise that will yield high returns on investment,” he said.
The First Lady and Minister for Education and Sports Janet Kataha Museveni appealed to Universities to also transform areas surrounding them.
In her message delivered by the State Minister for Higher Education Dr. Chrysostom Muyingo, the first lady said that education was key to the transformation of society.
The Chancellor Busitema University Prof. Vinand Mutakabala Nantulya said that learning was a life-long process and appealed to the graduands to aim higher now that they had gotten the basic education of under-graduate.
Prof. Mutakabala thanked government for the support extended to Busitema university that had seen it grow from having only 450 students to over 5000 currently.
The Vice Chancellor Busitema University said that although there has been tremendous progress, the University still needed funds to achieve its goal of excellence.
Before the start of the graduation ceremony the Prime Minister planted a tree at the Center of Excellence on behalf of President Yoweri Museveni.