Students need reliable and high quality advice on career guidance if they are to acquire employable skills in the current “complex” job market, Dr Innocent Mugisha, the Director General of Higher Education Council (HEC), has said.
He made the remarks during a one-day workshop organised by Eastern Province in conjunction with the HEC on Friday. It was attended by district Vice Mayors in charge of social affairs in the province and civil servants studying in neighboring countries.
“Today’s jobs market is much more complex. Young people need reliable, high-quality advice. It is true students have the right to chose schools and career, but again the government cannot allow a laissez-faire kind of situation that could have serious consequences for our people,” he said.
Mugisha was critical of government workers who go to study in neighbouring countries without seeking career guidance from the Council. He said that such students ended up with skills not needed by the local labour market and from some universities without international accreditation.
The HEC boss said career guidance must improve to bring young people at par with the rapidly changing market. He warned that compromising the quality of education would not be tolerated.
“Careers must be a priority not an option. In-service workers need information that places them in competitive careers…this is what we are sensitizing them to do. HEC is at their service,” he said.
Mugisha said there was no need for government workers to study in neighbouring countries because there were enough facilities at home.
“We don’t see why these workers have to travel to institutions outside the country. Our institutions offer most of the courses. Such students should seek HEC’s advised before they go outside the country,” he advised.
Odette Uwamariya, the Governor of the Eastern Province, added that studying outside the country, in most cases, was a waste of time. She advised government workers to observe the labour laws, adding that one cannot be a full time employee and full time student at the same time.
“For purposes of relevancy, workers should seek advice before they go to such schools. It is on record that some workers abandon their assignments, to travel to neighbouring countries to study. That is not acceptable,” she said.
71 civil servants in Eastern province study outside the country, most of them in Uganda.