May 17, 2024

Muyingo Urges Students To Join Bukalasa

(This article was first published in the New Vision on December 14, 2022)

By Frederick Kiwanuka

The state minister for higher education, John Chrysestom Muyingo, has urged students to consider joining Bukalasa Agricultural College in Luwero district after the government upgraded the institution.

Muyingo, who visited the institution recently, also urged its administrators to market the college, which has been refurbished under a project funded through a World Bank loan, to attract more students.

“We are satisfied with the upgrade. Market the college to the public so many Ugandans can benefit from the skills you are offering,” he said.

Muyingo made the remarks during an inspection tour of refurbished infrastructure.

He appealed to the communities surrounding the college to send students to the institution for specialised training in agriculture.

Since 2018, the government has been upgrading the college into a centre of excellence under a $100m Uganda Skills Development Project to offer competency-based training.

A competence-based curriculum has also been developed and lecturers retooled to deliver it under the project.

In addition, the college has been stocked with new equipment to facilitate teaching and some of its old buildings have been replaced with new ones or refurbished.

For instance, the college now has a new library and an administration block.

Dr Jane Egau, the commissioner for teacher instruction, said the institution’s new curriculum represents “a paradigm shift” in agricultural training which will produce tangible results.

The principal, Gilvan Kisolo, said he hopes the college’s new facilities will attract more students on top of the current 1,800 learners.

He added that new short courses would be introduced to complement the existing two-year diploma and certificate programmes.

Curriculum Content

The new curriculum is designed to not only enable the institution to produce employable graduates, but also professionals who can help farmers develop agro-processing projects and address post-harvest challenges.

It is also designed to create linkages between training and agricultural industry demands.

First Lady’s Message

While inspecting the college in 2019, the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Janet Museveni, said she expected the training offered to people in the surrounding communities to spur agricultural production. She noted that a critical mass of skilled graduates in communities surrounding the college can facilitate the transformation of agriculture and families.

As a centre of excellence in agricultural training, the First Lady said the college has the potential to pass on, for instance, value-addition skills to the nearby communities to facilitate economic growth. The practical training offered by the college, she noted, will attract more students, enabling it to collect substantial amounts of money in tuition to run smoothly.

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