Redemptor Tumuhimbise, a member of the South Western Selection Committee says that out of the 320 students that applied only 25 were girls.
URN.Few girls have applied to join Vocational Institutions in Western Uganda. This was during the Western selection exercise at Nyamitanga Technical Institute in Mbarara City.
Redemptor Tumuhimbise, a member of the South Western Selection Committee, notes that the number of female applicants is low compared to that of males.
According to Tumuhimbise, out of the 320 students that applied only 25 were girls.
She explains that out of the 62 who applied for the Electrical Engineering course 54 are boys and eight are girls, Civil engineering had six girls while the boys were 87, Mechanical engineering had 14 boys and no girl, Water Engineering 15 boys and five girls.
Johnson Mwijuka, the vice-chairperson Association of Technical, Vocation Institutes of Uganda blames the low enrollment of girl children on the attitude and general perspective of the community that vocational courses are meant for only boys.
He wants the community to support the girls to embrace vocation studies. He adds that shunning vocational courses is leaving many women unemployed because they leave all opportunities there for men.
Diana Tumuhimbise the Skills Development Officer World Skills Uganda, faults the low enrollment of girls into the technical vocation institutes to the people’s perception towards the skills noting that people have always seen vocation courses for failures.
Gilivazio Bafaki, the Principal of Nyamitanga Vocational College, says that the influence of culture and social norms influence what courses that women opt for when it comes to any sort of tertiary education. He also says that females find it easy to enroll in humanities-based courses compared to sciences.
Last month, the Ministry of Education changed the selection criteria for joining vocation institutions. Unlike in previous days when the selection process has been conducted by the national selection committee, admission for both private and government-sponsored students is now conducted together at selected regional centers after which a learner will be placed in an institution within his or her region.
The Ministry of Education has in the past come up with measures to change the current scenario. This includes new programs to encourage girls to join like offering them free accommodation as an incentive.
Other incentives include offering bursaries, admitting an equal number of females and males into different programs.