Every student would like to get the best out of their education so that they can have a respectable and well-paying job in the career world. This is reflected in the courses they choose while filling Public Universities Joint Admissions Board (Pujab) forms. Some of the most demanded courses at university include law, pharmacy and medicine.
George Stephen Mukasa, a head teacher at Entebbe Comprehensive Secondary School and an education consultant with Stego Education, observes that in 2014/15, 2, 054 applied and only 67 were taken on by Makerere University.
“At Mbarara University of Science and Technology (Must), out of about 1, 500 applicants, only five were admitted. The reason I share this information is for students to understand that as they make choice of courses, they should be realistic,” he explains.
Mukasa was one of the keynote speakers at the Post-Secondary Opportunities Expo 2018, under the theme; Exploring Options for informed career choices, last week at Uganda Martyrs Senior Secondary School, Namugongo under the auspices of the MasterCard Foundation which is implementing a national level secondary scholarship programme targeting academically talented yet economically marginalised young Ugandans, run under Brac Uganda.
Mukasa further observes that students ought to get career guidance before they list their courses and choose universities so that they are aware of their options through candid conversations that allow them gauge themselves against the national competition.
Know your ability
Grace Namata Sennoga, the communication manager of the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Programme at Brac, explains that the relevance of the post-secondary expo is out of observations that many students fill out Pujab ‘blindly’. “They have career interests which might not match their ability so we would like to help them understand that it is important to match the two,” Sennoga explains.
About 482 students, from 80 schools, took part in the expo. “If you cannot get a course of your choice then apply for one that you can get and ultimately get you a job,” he advises.
Sennoga adds, “I would like to encourage students to explore other options, especially in the vocational sector so as to avoid the mistake of going into courses targeting white collar jobs and end up unemployed.”
According to the Education and sports Sector Strategic Plan 2017/18-2019/20, there is commitment that by 2030, there is plan to substantially increase the number of youth and adults with vocational skills.