By Busein Samilu & Swaibu Ibrahim
The Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU) is to start empowering students with hands on skills under a project named “Reverse linkage.”
Students from all the four campuses will be given skills in tailoring, fashion technology, web designing, programming, metal works, culinary arts, baking, bee keeping and patisserie.
The project, initiated by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), an Islamic body of 52 countries, aims to connect and transfer technological skills from technologically advanced countries to those that are less privileged.
Professor Ismail Ssimbwa Gyagenda, the IUIU Vice Rector Academics, said IUIU is the varsity which was fronted to OIC by the Uganda government for the Reverse linkage project.
“Under that program (reverse-linkage) the Uganda government linked with the government of Turkey and IUIU was chosen as the institution to benefit from this. Experts will come from the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Art and Vocational, a centre in charge of vocational skills in Turkey, Professor Gyagenda said.
The first phase of the three-year project will cover the training of trainers (TOTs) in seven categories including tailoring, fashion and design, and baking among others.
“The actual training of trainers will start in March 2019 and some of these programmes will take about three to four months,” Gyagenda said.
Meanwhile, the University Secretary, Hussein Lukyamuzi, said there would be an awareness campaign to change students’ mindset about employment.
“The university administration will also later include these vocational skills in the university curriculum for students to supplement on their study programmes to enable them be job creators instead of job seekers,” he added.
The university also targets to transfer vocational skills to the neighbouring communities in an effort to reduce unemployment and poverty, according to the University Public Relation Officer Rehema Kantono. This will be done through outreaches spearheaded by the university’s radio, 93.1IUIU FM.
The Reverse Linkage project is in line with the 30th anniversary celebration theme “Celebrating Community Empowerment through Academic and Moral Excellence.”
During the celebrations the university guaranteed to embark on working hand in hand with the community to fight unemployment.
Last year IUIU was awarded the best institution in Uganda by Visionaries of Uganda consortium for its affordable and quality education which addresses community challenges such as unemployment.