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African govt’s urged to stimulate skills education

FILE PHOTO: African education

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has tasked African governments to foster practical skills education, in order to reduce youth unemployment.

Museveni said that in the world, over 156 million youth live in poverty because they are tagged on whitecollar jobs other than enhancing practical skills that are more paying and internationally applicable.

This was part of his message in commemoration of International Youth Day, a celebration which was this time round dedicated to highlighting good practices and lessons learned in the efforts undertaken to ensure that education is relevant, equitable and inclusive for all youth. Activities to mark the day in Uganda we held at St. Gonzaga Gonza Primary School in Buwenge Sub County, Jinja district.

Museveni says that unlike most European countries with a low youthful population, Uganda is home to energetic youth who contribute 77 per cent of the country’s total population. However, due to lack of training in vocational skills, they remain scarcely employed compared to their older counterparts or even a smaller percentage of youth that have opted to carry on with practical skills education.

His speech was delivered by Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi.

He adds that the government is speeding up the creation of the student’s service scheme which will be mandatory for all fresh graduates. The scheme will orient and train youth on the flexibility to penetrate the job market irrespective of their different academic disciplines.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has expressed worry that schools are not equipping young people with the skills they need to navigate the technological revolution.

Statistics by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), demonstrate that significant transformations are still required to make education systems more inclusive and accessible. It shows that only 10 per cent of people has completed upper secondary education in low-income countries, 40 per cent of the global population is not taught in a language they speak or fully understand and over 75 per cent of secondary school age refugees are out of school.

“Education today should combine knowledge, life skills and critical thinking”, Guterres said in a message released to mark the UN’s International Youth Day.  It should include information on sustainability and climate change. And it should advance gender equality, human rights and a culture of peace”.



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