National Planning Authority proposes compulsory national service
The National Planning Authority (NPA) wants compulsory national service for all Senior Six leavers to be an integral component of Uganda’s National Development Plan (NDP) II.
Under this arrangement, Senior Six (or Form Six) leavers will spend nine months of vacation in military training, before spending another 12 months getting practical skills in a range of disciplines.
Skills like plumbing, carpentry, bricklaying and vehicle mechanics will be imparted from what Dhizaala described as national service centres of excellence.
The two-day retreat opened by the Minister of Security, Muruli Mukasa and graced by technocrats from Parliament, government ministries and departments is aimed at drafting implementation strategies for the NDP II.
Countries like Israel, Eritrea and China have compulsory national service programs for their young people before joining universities, while Norway makes it mandatory for any male above 18 to undergo military training.
The national service program will also be in sync with the Government’s strategy on higher education, whose emphasis is on practical skills as part of a multi-pronged plan to stem spiraling unemployment among youths.
If the proposal on national service gets cabinet approval, any Ugandan sitting Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) exams will skip two years before joining university.
The NDP I will end in June, with the NDP II expected to span the period between 2015 and 2020 as part of Vision 2040 that is aimed at transforming the country into a middle-income economy.