Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Vocational training institutions in Ankole are still struggling to attract students.
This is despite the fact that some of the such as Bushenyi technical College Kahaya, Kibasti Vocational institute, Ihunga polytechnic in Ntungamo, Rwentanga farm school in Mbarara and Rwampara farm school in Rwampara are equipped to provide skills to the students.
The institutions are still operating far below their capacity with some operating below 50 percent.
Florence Habaasa a parent at Karera technical institute says that the biggest challenge is the perception among parents that technical education is for less privileged or those who have failed to excel in formal education.
Johnson Mwijuka the Principal at Kibasti technical institute in Ntungamo says that despite having two modern and spacious workshops, adequate classrooms, solar and Hydropower connection, they currently have 250 students instead of the required 630.
Mwijuka adds that there is need for the government to move in and increase the number of the students sponsored at various institutes or make the cost entirely free.
At Ihunga polytechnic in Kagarama town council of Ntungamo district. The school has an enrolment of 210 students yet it has the capacity to accommodate 400.
Nelson Tugume the principal says that attracting students is still a challenge due to the perception of parents about vocational training.
At Karera technical institute, only 230 students are enrolled at the school instead of 600.
The Principal Boaz Turyahabwe says that they have been engaging parents on the need to enrol for technical skills which he thinks will finally pay off.
The story is not different at Rwentanga and Rwampara farm schools in Mbarara and Rwampara respectively.
Kajara County Member of Parliament Michael Timuzigu says that there is need for the government to introduce Universal technical education which he says will attract more students.
Museene Safinah the Commissioner Business, Technical, Vocational Education and Training -BTVET at Ministry of Education and Sports says that the government is equally concerned about the need to put in place more incentives to attract students who enroll in technical institutions.
Museene says that having on board universal technical education is one of the ideas that are being fronted and that this will continued to be discussed up to when they come with a conclusive stand on the matter.