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PhD ceremony Mr. C. Tukundane: Education and skills for development. Transforming support programmes for early school leavers in Uganda

When:Th 27-02-2014 at 12:45
Where:Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

PhD ceremony: Mr. C. Tukundane

Dissertation: Education and skills for development. Transforming support programmes for early school leavers in Uganda

Promotor(s): prof. A.E.M.G. Minnaert, prof. P. Kanyandago

Faculty: Behavioural and Social Sciences

Education and skills are crucial for individual, community and national development. Accordingly, in the last two decades, Uganda has been implementing education policies and programmes aimed at increasing access to education for children and youth. Consequently, the country has registered impressive school enrolment figures at both the primary and secondary school levels. However, this remarkable growth in enrolment figures is being jeopardised by high rates of early school leaving and poor quality education. Support intervention programmes and/or second chance programmes are often implemented to help early school leavers acquire the necessary skills for the labour market or for self-employment; most of these programmes are vocational education and training (VET) programmes. This study aimed to gain deeper insight into support programmes for early school leavers and to explore how to improve their outcomes for the beneficiaries. The study found that the current support programmes do improve access to the labour market, self-employment and livelihood opportunities for early school leavers, but also that there are a number of areas that require substantial improvement. The programmes tend to be delinked from the realities of the labour market and the local conditions; the curricula in most programmes are rigid and the teaching mostly teacher-centred and theoretical which does not facilitate practical skills acquisition. For support programmes to be effective, they must address the multiple disadvantages and needs of early school leavers through flexible and holistic approaches which cautiously work towards combating marginalisation and social exclusion by building and expanding their opportunities and choices.

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