What you need to know:
Available statistics show that only 17 out of 168 students come from Lyantonde. The institute has capacity to accommodate at least 400 students
A multibillion technical institute in Kaliiro Sub-county, Lyantonde District, is failing to attract students to train in hands-on skills.
Mr Fred Mayanja, the principal, told Daily Monitor that the institute is located in a remote area in Kaliiro where 80 percent of the residents don’t value education.
Available statistics show that only 17 out of 168 students come from Lyantonde. The institute has capacity to accommodate at least 400 students.
“The biggest population here are famers and many think farming is better than going to school. Even those who decide to seek knowledge think they are joining because they are academic failures, which is not true,” he said.
This newspaper has learnt that the majority of the students come from other districts like Isingiro, Ibanda, Lwengo, Rukungiri and Kabale.
“Some locals who would wish to enroll lack O-Level qualification and that is why they miss out,” he added.
Commissioned by President Museveni in 2016, the government anticipated that the youth would tap into the opportunity and become job creators.
At the time, Kaliiro Sub-county, with a population of 20,000 people didn’t have a single technical institute and most of the youth who needed vocational studies could travel to Lyantonde Town, about 14 kilometres away.
But residents in the area, who are predominantly farmers, are still reluctant to enroll their children at the institute, preferring to keep them at home, digging or rearing animals.
Ms Agnes Namboyera, a parent, said the management of the institute has not marketed their courses.
“Those people need to make parents in Kaliiro and the entire district aware of those courses and how important they are. I am sure if that is done, parents will enroll their children,’’ she said.
The Lyantonde District Education Officer, Mr Edward Byarugaba, said plans are underway to introduce more courses that will attract students.
“We are soon introducing new courses such as milk production, bones, and horn production to attract people of Kaliiro since their main economic activity is farming,’’ Mr Byarugaba said.
Lyantonde Technical Institute’s current enrolment stands at 168 students. Of the 168 students, there are 120 boys and 48 girls. The institute admits students in both government and private programmes. Government-sponsored students pay 250,000 while private students pay 500,000 as tuition per semester.
In 2016, when the institute opened its doors to students, only 17 enrolled. Currently, there are three two-year courses offered at the institute. They include a certificate in building construction, plumbing and welding and metal fabrication. There is also a six-month course in cutting, sewing, and tailoring.
To get admitted at the institute, a student must have a minimum of an O-Level certificate with at least a credit in Mathematics and a pass in any of the Science subjects.