Seventy students have already been selected to benefit from the program that was officially launched on Thursday last week.
Godfrey Sserwanja, the Hoima district Education Officer says that pioneer beneficiaries have enrolled for certificate courses in vocational training at Nile Vocational Institute Bishop Mukasa Center in Hoima.
Sserwanja explains that the beneficiaries were identified in the communities and selected on merit after excelling in interviews. They are undertaking courses in tailoring; Brick lying, Metal Fabrication, Electrical Installation and Plumbing among others.
The beneficiaries will be fully sponsored by CNOOC oil Exploration Company, while the district will do a follow up on them. Sserwanja says this is part of the district’s program to encourage skills development in view of the oil sector where they can easily attain employment. He says it’s also in line with the government skilling Uganda program launched last year.
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Deo Kiiza, the secretary for education Hoima district says the program will help reduce on the number of redundant school leavers who have turned into drug dealers and gamblers in villages.
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Statistics indicate a 50% school dropout rate in Hoima district. The habit is common in the Lake Albert shore sub counties where children preffer fishing to going to school. Last year, the district tabled an ordinance seeking to incriminate parents whose children dropout out of school. The proposal is still before the education committee for scrutiny.
If passed the ordinance will see parents whose children leave school, jailed for six months or pay a fine of one million shillings. Zakalia Lubega, the CNOOC Corporate Social Responsibility Manager says the sponsorship will be reviewed after a year to decide on whether to continue or not.