By Irumba Juma Siriwayo
Juma is Managing Director of Katumba Parents Humanist Nursery and Primary School, Co-Director of New Hope Humanist Schools, and Board Member of the Coalition for Humanist Schools in Uganda. He is a graduate in biological science.
In this article, Juma outlines his proposal for a vocational training centre to help deprived school drop-outs gain useful employment.
Introduction: Why is a vocational skills centre needed?
Bundibugyo is a deprived rural area of western Uganda. Some 80% of its population (total around 150,000) are subsistence farmers who live beneath the poverty line. We have identified a need to address school drop-outs, and unemployed youths living within the villages of Bundibugyo District, with a Vocational Training Scheme. Our plan is to enhance the employability of 100 recent school drop-outs (aged 16-22) and unemployed youths (22-30) both male and female.
Key points to consider:
There are high rates of unemployment in Bundibugyo among people aged 24-35.
There is a rampant school dropout rate among school age children and many students fail to obtain the necessary results to continue with further study – these students should not be left to ‘fail’.
Several formally-accredited Vocational Training Institutions exist. However, the young people we intend to support may face barriers such as financial constraints, lack of documentation, and challenges with transportation and accommodation, which could prevent them from attending.
Careers support and advice is severely lacking in schools, students are often not aware of vocational learning opportunities and believe that if they have failed to succeed in the education system they have few options for employment.
School drop-outs and unemployed youths lose hope and end up loitering, becoming irresponsible in the community and often find themselves engaging in misconduct of all kinds, such as alcohol and drug addiction, gambling, prostitution and robbery. We hope that enabling them to acquire a skill to support themselves will prevent this.
Objectives of the Vocational Training Scheme
To provide vocational training to unemployed youths and recent school-dropouts, to enhance employability and provide skilled foundations for building careers, thereby reducing levels of unemployment in those aged 21-30.
To empower young people to believe in their dreams and to enable the acquisition of income (through formal and informal job prospects) so that they can support their households and families.
To foster a change in community attitudes, whereby everybody is given the opportunity to succeed.
Proposed Vocational Training Courses
The following courses have been proposed and would be targeted at recent school drop-outs and youths – except for computer literacy which could also be attended by professionals.
Hairdressing and beauty
Carpentry and joinery
Herbal processing and product development
Mushroom farming techniques
Management of the programme
Identify formally-accredited Vocational Training Institutions that can work with and agree the programme.
Build course structure: duration, tuition, associated costs, criteria for completion and attaining certificate.
Identify 100 young people distributed fairly between school drop-outs and unemployed youths.
Plan the budget.
Help the students to purchase recommended materials and equipment for the course.
In-house training at the proposed Community Centre by the hired tutors.
Monitor and photograph the students, capturing their new skills and evaluating the success of the project, ready to develop and extend it for the future.
Expected outcomes of the programme
Within the first year, 100 young people distributed fairly between school dropouts and unemployed youths will participate in a Vocational Training Programme with the initial goal of 50% of beneficiaries to be engaged in income-generating activities, formally or informally, after training.
Beneficiaries will become self-reliant and strongly resilient in addressing their challenges through newly acquired skills and learning.
Beneficiaries will be able to use the acquired skills to enhance their careers and employment prospects.
Beneficiaries will be able to use the course completion certificate provided to add value to their CVs and enable wider career opportunities.
Appeal - can you or your group help?
Our target set-up fund is £25,000. The funds we raise will be used to help build a skilling centre and buy training materials and equipment. Any donation large or small will be greatly appreciated. You can contact me to find out more.
My name is Irumba Juma Siriwayo ('Juma')
Telephone: +256782872431 / +256757798783
Address: PO Box 1119 Bundibugyo, Rwenzori sub region, Western Uganda.
The thumbnail image is illustrative of vocational training in Uganda. Source link