By George Busiinge
Students of St. Simon Peter Vocational Training Institute, Hoima are set to benefit from a fully furnished ICT lab courtesy of the MTN Foundation in partnership with a Belgian NGO, Enable, formerly known as Belgian Technical Cooperation-BTC.
The donation of 10 computers and accessories, plus free wireless internet connectivity for one year worth sh50miilion was part of MTN’s activities that mark 20 year of expectance in Uganda on Saturday.
Under this arrangement Enable Uganda will be required to feed the computers with current and relevant data on vocation developments.
Speaking at the commissioning of the laboratory, Dorcas Muhwezi, the General Manager Customer Experience MTN Uganda said that said that the donation is aimed at skilling 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.
Muhwezi further noted that the decision to support vocational institutions was based on the fact that vocational training is a sure way of addressing unemployment, which is a major issue for the youth in Uganda today.
”The MTN Foundation which is the corporate social responsibility arm of MTN Uganda, in partnership with Enable, 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” she said.
While launching commissioning the laboratory, Dr Lawrence Bategeka the Hoima Municipal Member of Parliament commended MTN for the initiative adding that the donation is complementing government efforts in advocating for vocation education.
He noted that there is need for parents to encourage the children to embrace vocation skills to end the challenge of unemployment in the country.
He noted that the youth have a negative attitude towards vocation education adding that many think that vocation education is for the failures.
He added that there is need to have a mindset change campaign for the youth to know that vocation skills are the way to go to ensure sustainable development.
The Principal of St Simon vocation institute Richard Alikira says that the donation will enable access to electronic library resources that provide the most current research and peer-reviewed scientific and applied information.
He explained that the institute with 465 students has been sharing laboratory with 20 computers, saying that the addition of 10 computers will reduce on the burden. However demanded for more support saying that institute is having a deficit of 50 computers.