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Museveni, taking back graduates to school won’t solve the problem


Museveni, taking back graduates to school won’t solve the problem

His Excellence President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni

His Excellence President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni

I don’t understand why the government has failed to understand this issue of the high unemployment rate. I really got angry when I read in one of the local dailies that President Museveni had pledged to send Uganda youth who graduated with ‘irrelevant courses’ back to school in order to acquire skills required by the job market.

With all due respect Mr. President, I think this was an irrelevant statement for we all know that the issue of high unemployment is not about the ‘irrelevant courses’ as you call them or is it about the lack of skills. The problem is simply that there are no jobs for those poor graduates to exercise their skills and knowledge on.

We attend universities for the simple reason of attaining knowledge, so what kind of new skills are needed by the job market that universities are not aware of. And if you claim that many Ugandan students apply for irrelevant courses, who then established these courses in the first place?

Isn’t it the government? Why then would you put up with those irrelevant courses in universities in the first place if they are not yielding any positive results? I believe the government has the mandate to change our education system if it believes that the current one is of no use.

Secondly, you say that you will send back graduates to schools to acquire skills required on the job market, pray tell, which special schools you will take them to. I believe you will take them to the same schools that have failed to impart the needed skills in the ‘irrelevant courses’ in the first place. Isn’t that repeating the same mistake over and over again?

In the yester years, graduating from a university was a treasure beyond compare because then one would be assured of a first class job. At that time, graduates were few and governments were still interested in creating employment for their educated people.

Also our planning department does not plan at all for new that companies contacted them even before they graduated. What then has changed? Is it our education system? Is it any different from the one in the yester years – I don’t think so.

I believe the problem here is that we have so many graduates and we are not creating any new jobs still depending on the jobs that were created in the 1960’s. Now days It is only those who are overly qualified, and have unreasonable working experiences that get jobs.

We should also not forget that many employed people are due for retirement but because Ugandans do not have the culture of retirement old jobs are always held by those who have been holding them for the last 30 or so years some of them as old as 90 years.

With such a situation where do you expect the fresh graduates to get jobs from? Sending them to school won’t solve the problem either simply because these youth are not lacking the necessary knowledge nor the skills – because that’s what they go to attain in universities. What they need is the availability of more jobs may be afterward with the attainment of some experience, you can send them back to school for enhance their knowledge and skills.




Ramathan Ggoobi is Policy Analyst, and Researcher. He lecturers economics at Makerere University Business School (MUBS) and has co-authored several studies on Uganda's economy. For the past ten years, he has published a weekly column 'Are You Listening Mr. President' in The Sunrise Newspaper, Uganda's Leading Weekly

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