President Museveni has commissioned five refurbished technical institutes in the country that have been supported by South Korea.
The ceremony took place in Kigulu South constituency, Iganga district where the President was accompanied by the 1st Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Museveni.
The Education Development Project, which was financed through a loan of US$28.6 million from Exim Bank, has been operating for three years in the refurbishment, rehabilitation and equipping of five technical institutes of Arua, Kiryandongo, Mubende, Nyakatare and Iganga. The Iganga-based project, where the official commissioning ceremony was held for all the 5 institutes, is the biggest.
President Museveni urged Ugandans to emulate and embrace the Korean aspect of entrepreneurship to ensure development continuously.
“In 1962, Korea was at the same level of development with us but has now developed because of entrepreneurship. The people who started Samsung are normal people like you. Whether they are from inside or from other countries, we must encourage them,” he said.
Mr. Museveni observed that technical schools are very crucial in the modern world and said that China as a country, is now the second biggest economy in the world, because of the highly skilled human resource that it possesses.
“Japan, Korea and China don’t have a lot of natural resources but because of the skilling of their human resource, they are developing faster. We must emphasize technical skills such that a combination of our abundant natural resources and human resource that is skilled, can develop our economy,” he stressed.
President Museveni thanked the South Korean Government for the soft loan extended to the Government of Uganda and also for equipping the technical institutes.
“The equipment in this technical institute is what should have been there. In the past, we used to use muscle and things like the hammer but these are automated and these days, computers are being used for precision. All high technical schools should be using this type of equipment. Uganda cannot fail to get US$28 million. It is a question of planning,” he remarked.
Turning to the issue of household income generation, the President encouraged the people of Iganga to follow the four-acre model of planting coffee, fruits, food and grass per acre respectively while carrying out poultry or piggery at their back yards. He added that if they adhered to his advice, they would alienate poverty in their households.
He cautioned them on growing sugarcane on a small scale saying that it was only profitable on a large scale. He also informed the people that the concerned Government Ministries were currently working on setting sugar prices instead of leaving the job to manufacturers who allegedly cheat farmers.
The First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Museveni thanked the Government of South Korea for partnering with the Government of Uganda to support the education sector in the country.
She was happy to note that the negative social perception that most Ugandans had about technical schools in the country has changed because of the continued efforts by the Government of Uganda to invest in schools.
“All over the world, instilling of employable skills and competences relevant to the labour market is very essential for transformation of economies and this explains why the Ministry of Education and Sports, with our partners in development, is investing heavily in technical education and training,” she said.
She also revealed that according to the available information she had learnt Uganda has been able to save US$4 million as a result of the pace of the project implementation and that the savings have been invested in other projects.
The 1st Lady commended the Government of South Korea, through Exim Bank, for enabling Uganda to move with the global community in addressing Uganda’s human resource development needs.
The Ambassador of South Korea to Uganda, Mr. Jong Dae Park, saluted the Government of Uganda for the effort in the education sector and for supporting the project.
Earlier, President Museveni made a tour of the different sections in the institute that included machine and fitting, automotive, woodwork, plumbing and welding, fashion and design as well as computer departments.
He also held a meeting with the South Korean Ambassador, Mr. Jong Dae Park and his delegation. He encouraged the South Korean Government to not only invest in schools but also consider investing in other sectors like factories.
The President and the First Lady planted trees in commemoration of the event and their visit to the institute.