Vocational Department

Vocational education is not for formal education failures

In the year 2022, after the Government officially opening of all formal and nonformal training institutions’ which had lasted for over I year due to the outbreak of Covid 19. YAWE vocation and life skills training center officially opened up for students in the following courses hairdressing, tailoring, basic computer application, knitting, and baking. As Yawe we train these trainees for 6 months as we prepare them to qualify for modular assessment given by the Directorate of industrial training under MOES. We also collaborate with other private workshops to around town to train the identified vulnerable youth, especially in welding, and carpentry MVM/MCM mechanics.

Target group, we normally target school dropouts and those who failed first education due to early pregnancy or lack of school resources/ requirements especially school fees and other sorted school items. Since Yawe is a youth center, we aim at giving a second chance to all vulnerable youth through hands-on skill training as one way of reducing the unemployment rate among youth which is a great challenge in Uganda as a country.

 During this reporting period, we trained 52 youths and successfully completed their courses by doing the DIT examination. We have a unique mode of training whereby we give technical training skills alongside social life skills sessions. Core life skills are a critical part of training vulnerable young adults due to the many social challenges they interface in life. This has contributed to improved individual confidence as observed through the trainee’s participation in class and other activities engaged during the training. Moving forward there is growing appreciation by individual youth and caregivers since it has improved their lives both socially and economically.

I am called Francisco AKello aged, 23 who completed S.4 from Kahinju s.s.s where I attained second division and was among the best student in the second class division. I wished to join a higher level of education but my family background couldn’t make it to that level. I had a passion to at least get a skill at hand besides having formal education since at our family level I was inspired by my aunt who owes a big business yet didn’t make it higher in education what I learned from her is she loves for her business.

Most people have taken the path through the hand on the skill Education system and some of them have made it . There are many youths who complete the set years of training and they have still failed to make it past their shadows. This is attributed to a number of factors thus environmental, family background, and social norms/myths which I don’t agree with most of the time. I strongly agree that most of the youth/ students lack dedication, “PASSION/LOVE” for the system, and societal facts. Vocational education has for a long time been stereotyped as only a path for those that have failed to make it through the main formal education system and the less privileged.

This has over time played a self-esteem dilemma amongst most young people who believe they are settling for less than they should be having at the time. This goes as far as students negating to be affiliated with the courses/training they attend but only study to graduate and impress their parents/sponsors and at the end of the day, they can’t apply anything learned at school yet the goal of this path is to prepare individuals for manual or practical activities that can be monetized.

It is about time, we all look at VOCATIONAL Education for truly what it is and what it has to offer to our individual livelihoods and to the labor market of Uganda which is becoming more specialized. It is high time we stopped thinking that vocational education is for failures instead, we should embrace it wholeheartedly. If the country is to realize the development of both public and private sectors. We need to prepare our children, and our students as they take this path and not merely introduce it to them as a lost cause or last resort.

With the aftermath of COVID-19, most people may or have sadly lost jobs. It is high time we all reflect and look at venturing to attain a practical skill that may make a difference in our lives. I thank the Yawe foundation for giving me the opportunity and encouraging all youth who don’t have any skills to join and get at least a skill they will not regret in the future.

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