Students of Kasese Youth Polytechnic Vocational Training Institute (VTI) in Western Uganda are set to reap from the generous donation of a fully furnished digital resource center courtesy of the MTN Foundation in partnership with Enabel a Belgian NGO.
This project is hinged on MTN’s strategic priority to build digital skills for digital jobs in alignment to the company’s Ambition 2025 Strategy.
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The MTN Uganda Foundation which is the corporate social responsibility arm of MTN Uganda, in partnership with Enabel, an NGO that supports vocational training institutes with a vision to end unemployment and extreme poverty, is extending support to the ‘Skilling Uganda’ National Project in Vocational institutes through the provision of computers and fast internet connection.
This is in fulfilment of the ministry of education and sports national program titled ‘Skilling Uganda’ as part of BTVET strategic plan 2012/3 to 2021/2.
The first phase of the ICT for Development project that happened in 2019/20 supported three VTIs including St. Daniel Comboni vocational institute in Moroto, St. Simon Peter Vocational Training institute in Hoima and Amello Vocational Training institute in Adjumani district with fully furnished ICT labs to promote digital learning in the VTIs.
To start off the second phase of the project, MTN Uganda Foundation alongside Enabel have completed and handed over the first of three ICT labs in Kasese Youth Polytechnic VTI.
The ICT lab that cost Shs 65 million has 10 computers, 4 batteries, a power stabilizer an uninterrupted power supply, and high-speed internet connectivity for a year.
Additionally, MTN has committed another 102M for the production of digital education content commonly known as How-to videos that shall be used for training at all the VTIs that MTN and Enabel have supported.
These how-to videos shall facilitate training as learning materials for the students of all the beneficiary institutions as well as the neighboring communities.
The entire second phase is ongoing and will cost UGX 297,254,237 which will extend support to three vocational training institutes including Uganda technical college- Kyema in Masindi and Millennium Business school in Hoima and the Kasese Youth Polytechnic VTI.
Speaking at the handover ceremony for the Digital resource center of Kasese Youth Polytechnic, Andrew Tusubira, the MTN Uganda Western Region Commercial Head said: "The aim is to skill Ugandan youth for the 21st-century job market by enabling them to access technical and vocational information online through open education resources for skills development."
Tusubira further noted that the decision to support vocational institutions was based on the fact that vocational training was found to be an effective way of addressing unemployment, which is a major issue for the youth in Uganda today.
Cornille Bart, the Institutional Development Expert at Enabel said that: "We have been in partnership with the MTN Foundation for the past years to bridge the gap between Vocational Training Institutes and ICT solutions to support the educational needs of young people in districts all over the country. We are happy with the progress that the project has registered so far."
While delivering the keynote Joe Walusimbi, the Kasese RDC praised MTN Uganda and Enabel for supporting educational services in communities and recognising government initiatives by supporting the education sector.
"We are in a highly developing technological era that requires all students to be able to have access to ICT tools that accomplish and solve everyday tasks. ICTs play a critical role in shaping the desirable 21st century work and life balance that is required," he said.
Dickens Koma Olwoch, the Principal of the Kasese Youth Polytechnic VTI expressed his gratitude to the MTN Foundation and Enable for their generosity.
"The digital resource center is going to create an avenue for our students to learn and share in the vast educational materials available on the web and in the training materials you have shared," Olwoch said.