Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda bought a portrait of the Pope Francis at Ushs10 million during the fundraising drive where about Ushs70 million was realized in cash and pledges towards the construction of a lecture block at Uganda Martyrs University (UMU) Kabale Campus.
Rugunda made the contribution as he presided over the 3rd Anniversary thanksgiving celebrations and fundraising for Uganda Martyrs University Kabale campus last Saturday.
He laid a foundation stone for the three-storey lecture block and also delivered President Museveni’s pledge of Ushs20million towards the project.
Rugunda saluted Kabale Diocese and and the Catholic church for the long standing contribution in the provision of quality education to the children of Uganda.
Rugunda said the strategic target of Uganda Martyrs University (UMU) Kabale Campus should be to produce marketable graduates who are equipped with technical skills to fill the skills gap in the emerging sectors of the economy.
The Catholic educational institution started in October 2012 as a polytechnic institution to address unemployment among university graduates.
Rugunda said he was delighted about the partnership between UMU and Kabale Diocese under the transformative leadership of Bishop Callist Rubaramira.
“To achieve our national development goal of attaining a lower middle income country status, ” Rugunda said.
The Premier said the NRM Government was focused on skills development and was implementing the long-term Skilling Uganda Strategy (2012 – 2022) to respond to the increasing demands for skilled labor to support value addition for export and the rapidly growing services sector.
“There is no doubt that our country is currently faced with a skills gap. Much more effort is therefore required from our various education and training institutions in the country to innovatively scale-up the provision of cutting-edge education and training at various levels, ” the Premier said.
He also thanked the promoters who have continued to support UMU Kabale campus since it started three years ago.
The Campus Director, Rev. Fr. Dr Abel Beinomugisha said the student enrolment had increased from 53 in academic year 2012/13 to 300 students this academic year.
“Many children die in the first years of their birth, and many projects collapse in their infancy. We thank God for keeping us alive as a campus despite the winds and waves traversed,” said Beinomigisha.
Currently UMU Kabale campus offers certificate courses in medical records management, laboratory technology, carpentry and joinery and electrical installations among others as it progressively builds up capacity to teach specialized polytechnic courses.
Courses to be offered in phases at diploma and degree level include; civil engineering, mechanical engineering computer science engineering, bio-medical technology, food processing technology, nursing, ceramics technology and steel works technology.