Dr Eli Katunguka-Rwakishya.
Professor. Dr. Eli Katunguka-Rwakishya is the Vice Chancellor of Kyambogo University, he shares with us what the university is putting in place to fight unemployment in Uganda.
How different is Kyambogo University from other academic Institutions?
The difference lies in the university being formed by merging other universities which gives it a unique foundation of a variety of programs. It also largely focuses on giving students knowledge and skills so that they are able to create something when they are done with school. The university is also in charge of all Primary Teachers Teaching Colleges (PTC), National Teachers College (NTC) and Early Childhood Centers as we provide for them the curriculum assessment and take care of their graduations. This makes the university unique from other universities.
What unique courses does the university offer?
We offer a variety of unique courses that we are sure we do better than other universities. These include Engineering Courses in oil and gas, welding, refrigeration among others, Science courses like Lab Technology which is on high demand. We also have courses in Education, Finance and accounting, Vocational Programs which include Art and Design among others.
How has government supported the university?
The government has greatly helped us on paying salaries for all government workers and we are happy about the steady increment in the welfare of our workers. It also pays for over 2500 students on government sponsorship where they pay all their expenses while at the University.
We have received infrastructure development for example the Central Lecture Faculty, Science Complex, Engineering Complex with modern equipment which is a big plus for the university. Among others.
What has Kyambogo University done to skil youths?
We have introduced short courses policy faculties that teach fields like Engineering; motor repairing, welding, electrical installation for Science; Lab Technology, soap making for food and nutrition; cake making, Agriculture; poultry production, piggery rearing among others. These courses will be open to everyone and will be conducted in holidays.
Youth unemployment is one of the serious problems affecting graduates, how has Kyambogo University managed to groom job creators instead of seekers?
The University has an entrepreneurship center where students are taught how to start a business, run and manage it. We also have a business incubation center which is only waiting for equipment to start. The students have a lot of business ideas which they can effectively execute when given guidance.
Our students have a variety of skills and some of them are doing a number of businesses even when at school for example we have girls who recycle salon hair to make shoes, make detergents among others. These are some of the skills that they will move with even when they are out of school.
Asses the governments contribution to the education sector?
The NRM government introduced UPE where 8 million are able to attain education regardless of their financial status. On top of this, they have provided infrastructure for primary, secondary schools and universities which are of great help.
The liberalization of education where many players came to provide education has also been a plus for the NRM government, for example we currently have 49 universities and out of these, 11 are public universities and 38 are private universities which is a great improvement of the education sector as it addresses an agent need in society.
This Interview was conducted in 2018.