The Prime Minister of Uganda, Robinah Nabbanja, has said agriculture and other science subjects should be made compulsory subjects at the Ordinary Secondary School level in a bid to transform the mindsets of young people.
While closing the 2023 national education show at the Uganda National Farmers Federation-UNFFE Jinja city’s based show grounds on Saturday, Nabbanja noted that the agri-technologies exhibited by students from different schools across the country should serve as an eye opener to interest learners to take part in the big industry with several employment opportunities.
This year’s national education show attracted 100,000 learners from 1100 schools across the country, with 34 of them exhibiting agriculture technologies and related agronomic practices before thousands thronged their exhibition stalls.
Nabbanja said that she will draft a cabinet paper, detailing the benefits of skilling learners in agriculture technologies and available opportunities, with much emphasis on it’s viability to foster mindset change amongst the wider population of young people, who for long have been shaped as job seekers rather than creators.
She further said that this cabinet paper, if approved will inform clear policies on funding of youthful-led innovations, developed by learners at different education levels and possible marketing of their finished products to benefit the already existing farmers, or even link them to viable partnerships with established investors in their related fields.
Nabbanja insists that consistent training of young populations and already established farmers in agriculture technologies, will foster poverty eradication by making Uganda food secure, coupled with enough room for interested individuals to sell their surplus farm produce to the wider East African community countries.
She further noted that building a strong and knowledgeable farming community, with the ability to navigate through the ever-changing agriculture landscape characterized by climate change, alongside other technicalities, needs the involvement of young people, to ensure the sector’s sustainability for the forthcoming generations.
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Also, George Mutekanga, the assistant commissioner in charge of private education says that several learners and their parents alike have over time expressed interest in pursuing agriculture, following its’ viable employment opportunities, however, since the subject is still optional, they abandon it in favour of other disciplines.
Mutekanga argues that making agriculture a compulsory subject is the easiest way of helping more young people to foster their dreams and passions in this expansive sector.
Meanwhile, UNFFE’s president, Dick Kamuganga says that their teams have created a platform, where all innovations exhibited by learners have been profiled for easy linkage to different government ministries for further improvement and possible funding.
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