Human capital development
Human resources are at the core of the socio-economic development process. The NDPII identifies one of the major handicaps to Uganda’s social and economic transformation as the inadequacy of its human capital. It further stresses the role of human capital development as one of the key fundamentals that need to be strengthened to accelerate the country’s transformation and harnessing of the demographic dividend. Over the NDPII period therefore, the country will prioritize investments towards developing a strong human capital base, focusing on health, nutrition, education and skills development. This will be achieved through improving access to quality critical social services and skills development.
Under health, the results of the 2016 UDHS show that considerable progress has been made in key indicators that determine the lifespan and productivity of an individual. The Infant, under-five and maternal mortality declined between 2011 and 2016 from 54 to 43 deaths per 1000 live births, 90 to 64 deaths per 1000 live births, and 438 to 336 deaths per 100,000 births respectively
Under education and skills development, Government seeks to increase access to quality primary, secondary and tertiary education, with better learning and skills outcomes. This will ensure proficiency in numeracy and literacy of the entire population and enhance productivity of the labour force. Access to basic and secondary education has been increasing over the years. Enrolment rose from 8,264,317 pupils in 2015 to 8,655,924 pupils in 2016 at primary school level; and from 1,284,008 to 1,457,277 students at secondary school level over the same period.
Primary school level pass rates were recorded at 93.5%, and pass rates at secondary at 86.9% in 2016. From a gender equity perspective, the ratio of girls to boys at the primary school level reached 100 per cent. In addition, Government adopted the Integrated Early Childhood Development Policy in FY 2016/17. The ECD policy aims to ensure equitable access to quality and relevant ECD services for holistic development of all children from conception to 8 years.
Furthermore, to develop employable skills and competencies in the labour market, Government is implementing the BTVET strategic plan 2012/13 – 2022/23 which builds on the progress in the reform of the BTVET system and the establishment of the Uganda Vocational Qualifications Framework (UVQF). Currently, 90 districts have at least a BTVET institution. The aim of Government in the short term is to ensure that all the 116 districts have an institution before rolling out to constituency level. Total BTVET enrollment in 2016 was 45,242
Government’s strategy for skills development focuses on the following;
- Curriculum development in key skills to focus on producing relevant and skilled workforce as well as operationalization of a training levy in an effort to involve employers/industries in the training of the country’s human resource;
- Enhancing the already ongoing interventions for skills development such the Presidential Initiative for Science and Technology Innovation Programme, Youth Venture Capital Fund and Youth Livelihood Programme, among others;
- Building the capacity of key training and vocational institutions in particular the already existing skills training institutions, proposed centers of excellence and trainers to improve response to market demands; and
- Institute mechanisms for international standardization and certification of skills to make Ugandan labour force competitive.