Gulu, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has implored Public Universities to realign their curricula to address the dilemma of unemployment facing graduates in the country.
He made the call while officiating at the 15th graduation ceremony of Gulu University on Saturday. Up to 1,513 students comprising of 870 males and 643 females graduated from 47 different academic programs.
Statistics from the Uganda National Household Survey of 2012/2013 shows that the country’s level of unemployment among the youth stands at 62 percent representing 4.5 million of youth under 18 years.
In 2017, the National Planning Authority (NPA) released statistics indicating that 700,000 people with various qualifications from both Public and Private Universities as well as Tertiary Institutions join the job market annually. However, only about 90,000 get some form of employment.
It means about 87 percent of employable persons can’t find a job. Now, President Museveni argues that the burden of unemployment can only be dealt with when Public Universities realign their curricular focusing on science oriented courses tailored at solving the human needs in society.
The President also outlined four crucial sectors in the country that Universities must explore and train learners in to generate and create more employment opportunities for the youth graduates across Uganda.
According to the President, his recent meeting with Vice Chancellors of Public University and Ministry of Education officials, he emphasized on science courses which government is ready to fund the staff to the fullest to handle it at all times.
Museveni also gave green-light for the construction of an eight billion Shillings Gulu University Teaching Hospital and contributed Shillings 100 million towards the staff Savings and Credit Cooperative Organization (SACCO).
This followed numerous requests made by Prof. George Openyjuru Ladaah, the Gulu University Vice Chancellor for support for the construction of a new Senate Building at Shillings 14 billion, Administration Block Shillings 16 billion and Shillings 45 billion to aid the general expansion of the University.
Prof. Openyjura disclosed that Gulu University never benefited from the Government seed funding programme to Universities, which others like Lira, Muni and Soroti Universities among others received for infrastructural development.
He implored the President and Education Ministry to consider the request for more funding to enable the University undertake mega expansion of the existing facility to increase student enrollment to 10,000 from the current population of 4,500 to spur community growth and transformation.
John Chrysestom Muyingo, the State Minister for Higher Education who represented Education Minister and First Lady, Janet Kataha Museveni urged Gulu University to invest more in research to contribute to the development of soft skills and entrepreneurial courses for transformative knowledge.