Zaina Nabuyondo has always been
interested in agriculture. At the age of five, Nabuyondo had a small garden
where she planted beans. After scoring 10 points in Primary school at Gombe
Primary School, she opted to go and study agriculture at Gombe Community Polytechnic.
Nabuyondo is one of three females
that sat for examinations in Science related programs during the
November/December Business, Technical and Vocational Education Training-BTVET
2019 examinations. Results of the examinations
that were released last week show that out of 5,251 students who sat for the examinations,
991 were females. Out of this number, however, only three of them majored in science-related fields.
According to educationists, not so many females are interested in Science related BTVET courses because of the
negative attitude that they have towards sciences. Even for Nabuyondo, the trek
was steep, and oftentimes, wanted to switch programs.
“There are times when you get tired
and just want to give up. Some of the work is hard and includes the usage of
heavy equipment like tractors which can be a challenge the first time you try
to use them,” Nabuyondo said.
Onesmus Oyesigye, the Executive Secretary of UBTEB says that the influence of culture and social norms
influence what courses that women opt for when it comes to any sort of tertiary
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Oyesigye adds that shunning science-related courses is leaving many of women unemployed because they leave
all opportunities there for men.
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Hajjat Safina Musene, the
commissioner for BTVET at the Ministry of Education says that many females keep
away from Science related courses because they believe that they are not meant
for women. “We find more females than males in courses like business and
nursing. But when it comes to engineering, then we have more males," Musene
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Musene says they are trying to
come up with measures to changes the current scenario. This includes new
programs to encourage girls to join like offering them free accommodation as an
In addition to this, the ministry
has come up with other incentives like offering bursaries, admitting an equal
number of females and males into different programs. She is optimistic that such
measures have led to an increase in the number of females that have picked an
interest in science-related courses.
“Three years ago, females made up
one per cent of the number of students pursuing courses in engineering. Today, we
have as many as eight per cent of our students in such courses,” Musene said.
UBTEB chairman Dr Silver Mugisha says
that more sensitization is needed to show females that there are no courses designed for one gender.
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During the release of the UBTEB
results recently, the Minister of Education and Sports said that females have the
potential to make some of the best technicians and electricians. She asked training
institutions to admit more female learners sponsored by the government on