Youths Decry Mismatch Between Formal Education and Skills Development

L-R Steve Cumming the Senior Program Manager at MasterCard Foundation, Hon. Adeke Anne the National Youth MP, Mondo Kyateeka of the Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development at Friday's report launch together with youths who undertook the research

Youth in Uganda are worried over the mismatch between the skills acquired from formal education and those required in the job market, physician according to a new report.

They argue that while many invest a lot of resources into the financially demanding education process, university graduates need extra training including volunteering in order to enhance their employability.

This was part of the major findings of a research study jointly commissioned by MasterCard Foundation and Restless Development which was released on Friday. The youth led peer to peer research sought to understand the dynamics of youth employment and entrepreneurship across East Africa.

Data from at least 400 respondents who participated in the one year study also reveals that despite of the deficient education system, youths have taken alternative initiatives to develop their skills, pursuing self-employment and are eager to engage in policy making on issues that affect them.

The report highlights other barriers such as gender disparities, limited access to financial services and business skills.

During the official launch of the report on Friday held at Fairway Hotel, Mondo Kyateeka the Assistant Commissioner for Youth in the Ministry of Gender Labor and Social Development said; “Investment in young people has high returns and more impact. This report will inform policies aimed at reducing poverty.”

Kyateeka advised young people against treating business as a secondary option but rather embrace it as a career of choice. Responding to the concerns raised on the formal orientation, he rooted for relevant education that is responsive to the needs that face Uganda.

“There are plans to introduce a labor market information system which will inform higher institutions of learning about the skills required in the job market. That way, universities will formulate courses that will respond to existing problems.”

Hon. Adeke Anne the National Youth MP who presided over the launch proposed that government overhauls the entire education curriculum to match the national development plan. The young legislator suggests that the system should be designed to offer a career direction to pupils while they are still at the Primary level of education.


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