Skilling teachers, trainers and youth for a transformative future.
Authored By: Frederick Hasahya
In this fast paced world, the environment changes within a limited time, the same applies to challenges we face. This means that human beings must adapt accordingly, in order to excel. Adapting means acquiring new knowledge, skills, relations, inspirations and policies to meet prevailing standards. Currently, the youth make up 18% of the total world population. This makes the bulk of the work force. One will then ask. Is this portion of the world population productive? We should know, that productivity is based on a series of aspects, whether learned or nurtured. In this bulk of youths, we should not forget, approximately 50% of the youths are females. The girl child grappling with different layers of gender inequality in different geographical and cultural settings, reminds us to leave no one out of the circles of transformative policies. The inclusion of the boy child is complimentary and thus giving a wholistic transformation of a society based upon skilling the youths, and those that train them.
Over the years, Prince Wako Foundation has been actively involved in skilling and training the youths in the global South, most especially, Uganda. This was mainly inspired by the fact that many youths easily dropped out of school at an early age. This led to early marriages and child pregnancies.
Ultimately most rural societies are forced to grapple with high numbers of idle and unskilled youths. The few who are skilled, cannot compete effectively in the job market, due to a lack of essential and marketable skills.
For example, in the Busoga sub region of Eastern Uganda, I interfaced with a child mother who shared a small hut with her co wife and other children. Their husband, an uneducated 30 year old, who only made a living through charcoal burning, cared less about educating his children. The whole family, made of youths raising children, didn’t not have any progressive skill that could enable any of them get employment beyond their village. These are the scenarios we have encountered over the years. From here, we have drawn inspiration. Skilling and training youths and their trainers must be prioritised in this day and age, if we are to transform people, families and societies. Resultantly, we need a more productive and competitive workforce, that can earn from their skills and compete globally as reliable and paid labour force.
Skills transfer and development must be a policy agenda in any country that desires social and economic transformation. In Uganda, the ratio of teachers/trainers to students is 1:21, but this overshadows the reality in crowded areas like Kampala where the average ratio is recorded at 1:70. This makes it hard to effectively transfer skills to the relevant persons, in this case the youth. The government has set up skilling centres and hubs in different regions, like Gulu, Lira and Mbale, these focus on vocational skills like baking, tailoring, mechanics and hair dressing. These skills if well utilised, can provide a foundation, but more must be done. Skills in science & technology, engineering and business must be taught and implemented.
The take away for us this year, is to support teacher or trainer implementation techniques, by providing them with the right tools and technologies, so that they execute their duties effectively for transformation to become a reality. Effective research must be done by the trainers, so that they are equipped with up to date knowledge to share and then communicate effectively to the large cluster of youths.
As a tool of progress, adaptability should be natured across all spheres of skilling, for those skilling and those receiving the skills. In this way, we shall have the right mind-set to add impetus to skilling the youths and supporting the trainers/teachers.
With the advent of modern work methods, learning skills should be effective enough to enable all those who receive knowledge to adapt and also be effective. Literacy skills must enable the youths work with new technologies and tools, take advantage of new media for personal gain. Ultimately, life skills must also be taken into consideration. How to handle one’s life, make decisions, all this form a means of perfecting professional skills.
A society that desires transformation, must recognise the gaps within its productive workforce. The youths are a very vibrant lot and thus their full utilisation of skills can effectively change the course of development. At Prince Wako Foundation, we are cognisant of the fact that teachers and trainers play an integral part in skilling the youths world over. We call upon our allies and partners to join us, as we strive to provide a conducive work environment for teachers/trainers, availing the right technology to them, to become more effective and offering the right research tools. Join us as a volunteer or make a donation to see to it that we implement relevant policies to enable effective skilling in the global South.