Leaders make more demands to govt as thousands graduates at Ora Technical Institute-Warr.

By Mike rwothomio

Leaders in Zombo district have appealed to the government to improve the status of Ora technical institute-warr for the facility to attract and equip more students in future.

This was at the institution’s first graduation ceremony of 1,063 graduands who completed their studies in various disciplines on 28 June, 2024.

The first graduation ceremony in 40 years since it was established in 1985 saw 1,012 males and 51 females graduating.

The Principal of the institution Mr Okoda Whickley Booker commended government under the leadership of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for “his visionary leadership of propelling the country to middle income status and offering the necessary support to the institution.

He appealed to the government to address a major challenge of staffing gap at the institution saying “our staffing position is not to the capacity required by the ministry of education and sports”

Ora technical institution grapples with sky high challenge of staffing gap with only 11 instructors and 10 non instructing staff on government payroll and 12 instructing and 09 non-instructing staff on board of governors payroll.

Okoda on the staffing gap noted that” I therefore call upon the ministry of education and sports to consider filling all the critical gaps so that we maintain our level of commitment and hard work in training our dear young ones”
The institute does not have facility for undertaking workshops for training and leaders are requesting that it should be equipped with modern training equipment.

Mr Onesmus Oyesigye, the executive secretary UBTEB addresses students during the first graduation ceremony of Ora Technical Institute-Warr on June 28, 2024. PHOTO/MIKE RWOTHOMIO

Meanwhile the chairperson board of governor of the institute Major General Dick Olum commended government of Uganda for heavily investing towards the Technical Vocational Education which he noted is “the prime driver of the country’s development”
He also appealed to the ministry “to fulfil the requirements of the project, they should acquire for the heavy duty machines so that our trainings become more complete and practical in this nature”
Apparently, out of the hundreds of students undergoing training at the institute, few students hails from the region thus triggering concerns amongst leaders in the area about the negative attitude community in the area has towards Technical and Vocational education.
Olum also challenged community in the area to embrace and send students to the institute which is just a stone throw from their home. He added “many of our people don’t like technical and vocational education. I challenge you the people Padwor village to name any student who have graduated from here, then I will give him or her a gift now”

Other key challenges at the institute

There is apparently no perimeter fence around the institute which the administration say “poses a serious threat to the institute due to theft or destruction of property by unruly members of the community”
Dormitories for student’s accommodation and more especially for the girls “which requires immediate action”
The institute also grapples with the challenge of decent staff Quarters that can attract and retain the required human resource.
The ICT laboratory is quite small and with few computers bearing in mind the growing number of trainees

The Zombo district chairperson James Oruna Oyulu commended the students for their effort dedicated towards attaining employable skills and urged them to use the skills effectively to make them self-reliant and job creators.
He also made an appeal that “government should make use of the skilled students especially when it comes to awards of contracts”

The institute offers a wide range of courses like Automotive Mechanics (NCAM), Building Construction (NCBC), Electrical installation systems and maintenance (NCES), Fashion and Design (NCFD), Plumbing (NCPL) and wood work Technology.

The Member of Parliament for Ora county Zombo district said some of the requests the leaders made shall be tabled on the floor of parliament such that the relevant ministries take it up from there and talked of myriads of benefits the vocational education is currently possessing over other education form.
He also cautioned the grandaunts against corruption saying “for you to have a better future, you need to first avoid corruption in your work, make names and money will follow you later”
Local leaders say Ora technical institute-warr if well-equipped, will address the challenge of idleness and unemployment amongst 65 percent of youths in Zombo district that hardly reads and write.
Meanwhile the Resident district commissioner of Zombo Grace Atim said “we need to take a robust move to market this institution, I know we are in this together. I also call upon you students to be our ambassadors wherever you will go”

Atim who was not convinced on renovation of the institutions also raised concerns noting that “review of competent contractors be done locally”

However the executive secretary UBTEB Mr Onesmus Oyesigye who was the chief guess acknowledged the wide range of appeals made pledging to take them up to the Education ministry.

Oyesigye also commended students for their dedication further rallying them not to relent in their pursuant of more academic qualifications in their line of profession.

He also rallied parents to embrace technical and vocational education that directly addresses high unemployment rate.

9.3 million Youths between the age of 18 and 30 years representing 41 percent in Uganda are not engaged in any productive activities according to recent report in the national labour force survey.

This crushingly high unemployment rate can best be addressed through a robust investment in vocational and technical education that creates platform for self-employment and reliance according to local leaders.