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Girls are equally as good as boys; they too should be encouraged to join vocational institutes

Exclusive interview with the Mr. Godfrey Sserwanja- the District Education Office (DEO), Hoima District

Question: Briefly comment about the status of voca tional and technical skills training in Hoima District?

DEO: There’s  been some improvement  in  the technical skills training in Hoima due to partners like: Living Earth Uganda, which sponsors trainees to  differ- ent organisations. There is CNOOC also, and of course the Ministry of Education Science and Technology and Sports, with its intervention of skilling Uganda Strategy

Question: How does the Jobs and Oil project managed  by  LEU  help  to  fill in  the  gaps  in  the  vocational and technical training sector in the district?

DEO: The interventions of LEU in training, monitoring and supervision are all geared toward quality improvement, thereby helping trainees acquire the right skills for jobs in the oil sector. This is more in the right direction.

Question:  How do you   rate   the   project   activities so far implemented by Living Earth Uganda?

DEO: So far so good. We have observed good performance in standardization, training of instructors through continuous professional development and coordination of the activities of the managers of Vocational Training Institutes i.e. the Board of Governors and Principals

Question: As one heading the education sector in the district, what have you done to promote skills training?

DEO: I have monitored vocational institutions within Hoima district to establish the level of training provided. I have also offered technical guidance to vocational institutions, and addressed students in vocational schools/ institutions on issues of the mind-set, including gender issues.

Question: There’s this issue of small number  of girls joining vocational training   institutions, what is your take on this?

DEO: This is again an issue of mind set. There is need to sensitize students to embrace vocational skills. Girls can equally do what boys can. There’s need to empower our girls with the right attributes, knowledge and skills regarding vocational skills development. Parents and teachers can help bring more girls to vocational institutions hereby changing the mind set

Question: Finally,  what  message  do  you  have for the people of Bunyoro region in as far as preparation for the anticipated oil and gas economy  and  it’s  opportunities  are  concerned?

DEO: There’s need to embrace quality education at all levels:  pre-primary, primary and post primary level. Attitude change is very important.  Oil and gas will create more jobs which require skilled labour. The people of Bunyoro should embrace the right skills through training in order to prepare effectively if they are to reap from the oil and gas sector

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