The Ministry of Information, Communications Technology (ICT) and National Guidance plan to make it mandatory for ICT graduates to join the Uganda Institute of Information and Communication Technology (UICT) before employment.
The Permanent Secretary Ministry of ICT, Ms Aminah Zawedde said the move seeks to address the unemployment challenges as many graduates are on the streets due to a lack of relevant skills needed in the job market.
Ms Zawedde stated that the government is making a concentrated effort to convert the institute into a distinguished institution that will offer specialized training in ICT to university and tertiary graduates, imparting the necessary skills required in the professional environment.
The aim is to establish a system similar to the one in Law, where graduates first enrol at the Law Development Centre (LDC) to enhance their knowledge.
“The lawyers have LDC that is mandatory for students to go to if they want to practise. But since it is a new initiative, it’s not yet mandatory but with time, we plan that it will be mandatory. For instance, for one to work in government you have to have a minimum requirement to certain certificate you are supposed to do to have prepared you for the job,”she said.
She added,” that is the direction we are taking, it is still in the early stages, we can’t say it is mandatory as of now but we want UICT to become the LDC for the ICT profession.”
Ms Zawedde said the Ministry has embarked on transforming UICT into a centre of excellence that will be equipping ICT graduates with relevant skills needed in the workforce
“Many times we have a gap between what graduates come out with and what is required on the job, so UICT is going to be that bridging the gap to offer these skills. Some of these courses come as one-week courses, one month and are short courses certificates and diplomas,” Ms Zawedde said while officiating at the inauguration of the sixth governing council of UICT in Kampala.
Dr Fred Kitoogo, the principal of the institute said they have made several international ICT partnerships to ensure that Uganda produces skilled ICT students who will not compete here but internationally.
We have many partnerships, including Johannesburg for software engineering, Japanese international cooperation agency, National Telecommunication Union and all these partnerships are building skills of the institute and the same skills that are needed internationally,” Mr Kitoogo said.