Friday February 21 2014

Ministry should license skills-training institutions

On the first day of every year, I make a list of resolutions, a set of goals that I should have achieved by the end of the year. This year, I made a very long list; one of the most important was to learn how to speak Luganda. I enrolled in a language training institution and attended class like I would have if I were going to a normal school.

There are all kinds of students at the institute: Ugandans, Somalis, Rwandans, Sudanese, Americans, etc. It is a bona fide melting pot of cultures and nationalities, all taking advantage of a wide range of services, not just languages but computer literacy courses at affordable prices. It came as a shock, however, when I discovered that this model learning institution is not recognised by the Ministry of Education.

Inquiries led me to learn that learning institutions need to be licensed by the ministry and KCCA but language institutions are not given licences because they do not operate in the traditional classifications of schools: primary, secondary and university and this is a pity.

Vocational institutions such as engineering schools, carpentry schools, etc are recognised and licensed. It seems unfair and short-sighted not to do the same for language institutions that provide an incredibly valuable service.

Carlos Lwanga,