By Kampala Post Reporter
ADJUMANI. The First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Mrs. Janet Museveni has strongly cautioned leaders of Technical Institutes to avoid utilizing unfinished premises to train students.
Mrs. Museveni made the warning during her monitoring tour of Amelo Technical Institute in Adjumani District which she visited last week on Tuesday and found that students had been enrolled and were being instructed in the yet to be completed Technical Institute.
Construction of the first phase of Amelo Technical Institute, which is one among the new Technical Institutes under the BTVET’s strategic plan of Skilling Uganda, started in 2014 and was supposed to be completed in 2015, but it is still unfinished four years down the road. The Institute lacks equipment for the workshops, furniture and even the students lack beds and sleep on the floor.
The Minister expressed disappointment with the leadership at Amelo Technical Institute for allowing students to utilize the unfinished premises and study in such a bad environment.
“I don’t blame the Institute Principal alone but also the officials from the Ministry and Local Governments who were supposed to have supervised this Institute and would have stopped anything going astray in time”, she said.
“It is my characteristic to monitor what the Ministry is doing in the field that I may know or find out what we have done or what we have failed to do and if I hadn’t visited Amelo today I would not have seen and known what is going on here,” she said.
She pointed out that an unfinished institute does not provide a conducive environment for learning and even the law does not allow people to occupy an unfinished building.
“If you open an unfinished institute, you dampen the hope of these young people who come to these institutes with so much hope to see the new future and to be empowered with new information and skills that they will use to empower and employ themselves and others,” she said.
“These Technical Institutes are supposed to address the unemployment in the country but for example those sleeping on the floor can’t have much hope now. They must wonder if really this is the technical education Government is talking about in these days that is supposed to give new hope for our young people.
She added that technical education means the training of hands and the whole person to be able to put in practice whatever they are learning. “But what I have seen really doesn’t show that when they leave here they will do such a good job out there,” she said.
She said an Institute like this cripples the minds of the young people and that’s a disservice not only to these students but also to others who will be learning from them in the future.
Mrs. Museveni reminded all leaders that God has blessed us with a country which is the only homeland for us as Ugandans and so if we don’t take care for our own homeland and instead go and admire other countries then we must know that we are cheating ourselves.
“God places us in strategic places so that we can transform wherever He has placed us and the child stepping in your shoes can find a better place”, she told the people and challenged men to stand up and be counted wherever they are placed.
About the countrywide Nutrition and School Feeding campaign that she is currently on, the First Lady implored the men to join hands with their wives and care for their children.
Both the Minister of State for Northern Uganda Grace Kwiyucwiny also Woman MP Zombo District and the Minister of State for Primary Health Care Dr. Moriku Joyce who is also Woman MP Moyo District thanked the Government for the Technical Institutes and challenged the communities to fully utilize them for their development.
Grace Kwiyucwiny pointed out the need to involve the local communities at every stage of project implementation right from the planning process for them to be able to own the development initiative.