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and geneva; font-size: small;”>He said they play a pivotal role in supplementing government in educating its citizens.
Museveni said that though the provision of education is the role and duty of government, the private sector in Uganda has made good use of the liberalization of the education sector by the National Resistance Movement government and invested and supplemented government in its role of providing education to the population.
The President made the remarks this afternoon during a fund-raising drive for Busoga University aimed at raising Shs.22 billion for the construction of a multi-purpose educational block that will house a library, computer and science laboratories, a research centre and an assembly hall, among others.
Addressing a congregation of parents, students, government officials, the business community and diplomats, the President hailed the contribution of the private sector in Uganda’s educational sector which, he said, has eased pressure on government in the education service delivery. The visiting Prime Minister of Kenya Mr. Raila Odinga, graced the occasion and was the chief fundraiser. He said that whereas there are over 30 universities in the country, only 6 are owned by government with the rest by the private sector.
He, therefore, said that government will boost support to privately owned educational institutions because of their noble service to the nation.
President Museveni, who pledged Shs.400 million towards the fundraising drive, appealed to educational institutions in the country to include on their curriculum courses that are on demand in the labour market. He said that many of the courses being taught in universities had turned students into job seekers as opposed to job creators resulting in high levels of unemployment among the educated youth in the country.
He commended Busoga University for inviting the Prime Minister of Kenya to grace the occasion and said Mr. Odinga is a good friend of Uganda and particularly Busoga Region as the Prime Minister holds strong memories of his parents’ activities in the area.
On his part, Prime Minister Raila Odinga congratulated Busoga University for the progress made in their one decade of existence. He also thanked them for receiving, educating and loving the Kenyan students who join their campus. He particularly commended the gesture extended to Kenyan students when the university extended the beginning of the semester for weeks during the Kenyan electoral violence. He said that the works and interactions of institutions of higher learning, such as Busoga University and others, should be guiding principle in the integration process of the East African Community rather than leaving the process to work for politicians only.
Prime Minister Odinga called for the integration of the East African educational curriculum which, he said, would harmonize and strengthen the East African educational system. He also called for the fast tracking of the East African integration by the member countries, which, he observed, will strengthen the bloc’s bargaining power. He asked all leaders to work for the integration noting that leaders will only earn respect depending on how they treat their citizens and the opportunities they have created for them.
Prime Minister Odinga, who contributed Shs.126 million (US$50,000) towards the fundraising drive, expressed happiness at the progress made towards the realization of the East African federation and reiterated his commitment to supporting it until its actualization.
The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, who is also the Chairperson of Busoga University Council, said that the institution has transformed Busoga Region by educating and adding value to the citizens not only in Busoga but also in Uganda and the neighbouring countries.
The Chancellor of the university Bishop Michael Kyomya of Busoga Diocese, hailed President Museveni and the NRM government for the Shs.1 billion grant to the institution which, he said, helped them to put in place the much desired structures at the campus. He also commended the contribution of the church to the education sector in the country and called on government to take cognizance of this effort and input of the church directed to the development of the human resource in the country.