OPINION: Unearth and rethink 7-4-2-3 education system

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OPINION: Unearth and rethink 7-4-2-3 education system
Robert Kigongo.

By Robert Kigongo

Sunday morning after reading Cheikh Anta Diop’s famous book titled “CIVILISATION OF BARBARISM”coinciding with a satire cartoon expression on X (Twitter) by Dr.Jimmy Spire Sentongo imitating Makerere fresh Graduates jubilating in galant Gowns in one frame of the image and next frame lining up for casual jobs in Arab world.

Without prejudice Dr.Jimmy Spire Sentongo confirmed Cheikh Anta Diop’s wisdom in civiliasation by barbalism with his art to unearth the 7-4-2-3 Education system and exposed a red flag of a deeper problem of under employment and unemployment in the Country visa vis desperate available choices at hand by our younger people.

According to ILO reports,over 69 Million youth are unemployed across the globe.

The weekly Observer justified Jimmy Spire Sentongo’s Cartoon expression of the underemployment predicament in 2022 on a front page indicating that over 2000 Ugandans desperately leave the country dressed in hijabs for Casual jobs as house maids,Security guards,drivers,supermarket attendants to Arab world every week.

Every year the Ugandan universities and tertiary institutes graduate 40000 younger people but only 9000 are able to find jobs from public service,civil and private sector according to UBOS report on unemployment status.

The 31000 jobless hanging Ugandans are majorly victims of the 7-4-2-3 education system that needs to be reset completely to address root cause of graduates who can’t create own jobs but rather jobs in government,UN local service contract jobs,civil society, cooperate companies, medium and small scale industries in the private sector.

I remember after university there was an external advert by Public Service Commission for 50 Jobs,I was so excited to be among the short listed, little did I know we were more than 100,000 had applied for those 50 jobs in Government until all the shortlisted gathered in Mandela national stadium in Namboole ,lines stretched from as far as Kireka to Bweyogerere then I knew my chances depended on God’s mercy.

Unfortunately majority of us did not even proceed to oral stage of the interviews.

Subsequently Kasoma Mark stopped at orals and never got any feed back from the commission.

To-date Kasoma lost faith in the whole Public service recruitment process and all job adverts across the spectrum.

Kasoma woke up from that nightmare of rejection and seeking for desk jobs in public service,civil service and to start his own business a “Phone and Computer repairing shop” at William street-Kampala applying his specialised digital skills he attained from a short course a digital training institute in Nairobi.

Kasoma also acquired specialised digital skills in geo information systems that he uses as free lancer for spartial data management and digital tracking services for private companies.

Today Kasoma applauds tailor-made short course from specialised digital training institute out of the formal education system but raised an alarm that prompted me to write this opinion.

He sighted that in my business is struggling to find similar skilled graduates or younger people in geo information systems or digital skills that I can delegate in my absence or when am overwhelmed.

Therefore it’s urgent to skill our youth or graduates in specialised digital skills to minimise underemployment and unemployment.

However this can not be achieved in absence of digital skilled teachers and specialised digital skilling centers in the country.

African younger people in all age brackets are grappling with access to top notch quality education facilities that match 21st century skills,skill sets due to skilled teachers who can offer specialised digital skills to anable them to be employable in the 4th Industrial.

Our teachers are good at offering generic skills and life skills but not specialised digital skills.

In Uganda 78% of the population are below the age of 30 years,but the rate of youth unemployement is undesirable between particulary between15 to 24 years in search of jobs caused by latest technology,economic factors global shocks ,and society changes that have changed the world of work ,yet for young people to be part of productive population section of society they need to get a new transversal agile skills.

Unfortunately that’s not the case due to unskilled teachers and absence of specialised digital skilling facilities.

We acknowledge the efforts by government of establishing the Directorate of Industrial training with a mandate to promote employable skills and others under the Ministry of Education and Sports, but the directorate among others needs to establish digital skilling centers for teacher and youth besides the traditional vocational facilities it has across the country.

However younger people on their own are already trying to be solution oriented all they need are reforms in the 7-4-2-3 education system.

For example Peter Okware started Teachers in Need(TIN) program under organisation has skilled over 10,000 teachers not just in Uganda but in Africa.

Peter Okware aged 27 posses a question ?Which category of people can we entrust with a mandate of skilling the Nation?

The easiest avenue of skilling the nation is through first skilling teachers in technology and specialised digital skill sets simply because “We teachers spend most of our time with the children and youth of the nation ion schools”;

If a teacher has specialised digital skills that would simply exposed to over 15 to 20 skills per year something that would give them a reasonable pool of choices thus making informed choices;

Mr.Okware was bitter that unfortunately in Africa we have neglected the power of specialised digital skills all our strength and resources have been channeled to only academic performance and that’s the major cause of unemployable youth barge who continue to line up for 10 jobs of public service commission in thousands yet they also spend the little form soft grants in depleting the economy to the large economies of countries like china,Japan that have invested in skilling tutors,teachers and youth.

Another example is Kyambadde crispn aged 24 in ggaba is providing tutors, youth with 100% hands on specialised tech digital skills, he has invented an online app that is disseminating relevant digital skills to young people in school and out of school.

Ideally resetting the whole 7-4-2-3 education that Cheik Anta Diop described in his book titled as “Civilization of Barbarism”.

One of the ways we can achieve a better capacity improvement and advanced transformative future is by having specialised digital training centers in all regions.

Robert Kigongo is a sustainable development analyst

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