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Issue #58 - February 2017

One graduate through an article in the Observer said that they “wasted” three
This month, Racheal shares her thoughts on vocational and university years at the university only to fail to find employment after! I have never thought
education and why we all should give vocational education a chance. of it as a waste of time because in the course of doing your degree, especially if
the foundation is passion, there are so many abstract skills built: critical thinking,
team work, research and problem solving. All these are skills one needs to make
Racheal Kapasi it in life.

Racheal is married to Yusufu
Kapasi and a mother to three
I view it as a life choice
She is a counselling psychologist
So I can’t say that there is one less than the other, they are all important. I will
by profession and a lecturer at only ask, “What do you want to do?”, “Where do you want to be in life?”, “What
School of Psychology, Makerere resources do you have around you?” and, “What are you passionate about in
For one to actually be able to succeed, they ought to be available to learn, not
She engages in therapeutic, focus on grades and family pride and use social support systems. Parents should
coaching, mentorship, discipleship, training and facilitation also learn more about the different education systems and their purposes, not
be driven by poverty pressure to focus on survival, avoid the corruption culture
processes, programmes and projects to move communities and and promote patriotism to build the nation.
market places from a hopeless reality to God’s intention.
1. Vocational school programs are shorter—3months to 2 years depending on
1. Most people view vocational education only as an alternative for those
who have failed to get into university. Do you? the type of certification at the end.
Incidentally I don’t. I view it as a life choice; someone chooses to take on that 2. Vocational programs have core and electives classes that allow students to
craft or trade in life and it has nothing to do with failure. branch into sub-topics or speciality areas.
3. It includes hands-on classroom experiences and internships hence providing
2. For a young person looking for the most sure path to success, what would
you recommend: vocational or university education? more focused learning.
I would recommend either way for the person. When someone is choosing a 4. Students may easily find immediate employment with internship employers.
career option it’s very important that there has been a process of mentorship 5. In most cases, less money needs to be invested apart from the additional costs
for them—which starts at home then school and other relationships. They for purchasing required materials or tools for the program(s).
should be able to understand what they are passionate about because it’s not
about doing anything in life. It has everything to do with who you are, what
your gifts and abilities are and where you are willing to invest your energies for
the rest of your life. This is not a destination but a deliberate growth process.
We need to understand that vocational education prepares people to work in a
specific trade or a craft, directly from school into a chosen career. It trains
people with the knowledge and skills that the job market is looking for. So that
is why many times its practical training is applauded by many. Though, it is
important to understand that every practice is based on theories.
University education on the other hand offers programs intended to provide
students with a solid foundation of skills and knowledge related to a broad area
of study. For example, psychology is a broad area of study, but I will make a
choice and say, “I don’t want to be a clinical psychologist, I will be a counselling
psychologist, or an organisation psychologist”; these are all out of the broad
area of psychology. University education also equips students with a prerequi-
site to enter a variety of fields or pursue graduate education. There is an open
door for them to choose where they want to end up as individuals. When you Racheal, her husband, their children, and Victor (standing tallest)
think about a degree course, it’s like an open door to so many options in life. The KEY RING is a monthly publication by the Kampala Baptist Church Media
Team that seeks to provide an avenue where men and women can share
Many times people will say the university education is so theoretical, and I
knowledge and understanding of the word of God, experiences and
agree some courses have been made too theoretical to an extent that some encourage one another as the older perform the act of ‘paralambano’ to the
students finish school with no hands on experience. This however is being younger.
addressed through internships. Our prayer is that the Lord will speak to you through this publication.

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