Government is working on creating a fund to support research, innovation and marketing of products from institutions of learning to make them competitive on the world market, the Education minister, Ms Jessica Alupo, has said.
Ms Alupo’s remarks follow an outcry from students from various schools who want government to find market for their products under the Skilling Uganda project.
“The President made a pronouncement that we now need to make a research fund, innovation fund and marketing fund. When we do that, that money will directly go to the students’ products to develop them further, connect them to Uganda National Bureau of Standards, ministry of Trade and see how these products can get to the market,” Ms Alupo said in an interview.
However, she said there was still a budgetary problem, but is optimistic that the fund will be implemented in the next financial year.
Ms Alupo lauded students’ innovations attributing the achievements to government’s effort to make sciences compulsory at lower secondary.
For instance, students of Mackay Memorial College under their club, Quality Educate Innovators have produced a herbal jelly that cures skin irritations such as fungi and sores.
Mr Innocent Ndayambaje, another student at the universal school, said he was making briquettes using dumped waste products from tailors to conserve the environment.
Ms Alupo said government together with the African Development Bank will invest a total of $105m (Shs315 billion) in establishing laboratories, buying equipment and also training science lecturers up to Masters and PhD level so that they can boost science and technology.
Centenary Bank and Educate Uganda have organised an exhibition at Makerere University tomorrow where schools from across the country are expected to showcase their innovations and the winners will walk away with Shs300,000 and a trophy. Mr Solomon Kayiwa, the programme manager, Educate! yesterday told Daily Monitor that this programme is intended to promote skills development among students.