An MP in Uganda is pushing to have new graduates go through a compulsory one-year service upon graduation.
Bunya County MP, Waira Majegere is campaigning to have university graduates to serve the Ugandan government for a year.
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This service model is similar to one practised in Nigeria and Ghana. The one year service is meant to be compulsory, it will also be a pre-requisite for employment.
The graduates will be expected to serve in different sectors (both public and private) including the military, rural development, agriculture, cooperatives and youth programmes, education, health or local government
Minister Majegere was granted leave by the Parliament in order to help him prepare the legislation that would make the framework of what is being called the National Graduate Service Scheme.
The bill includes that:
“any person who has not commenced or completed his period of national service shall not obtain employment outside the scheme, be employed by any other person outside the scheme, be engaged in any other employment outside the scheme, whether self-employed or otherwise, without prior permission, in writing, of the Secretariat.”
Ugandan citizens who studied in other countries are not exempt from the compulsory one-year service, especially if they plan on working in Uganda after their university education.
The graduates will also be paid a stipend as determined.
“There is a general view of the fact that education as it is imparted in schools, colleges and universities, leaves something to be desired and it is necessary to supplement it with programmes which would arouse interest and the social and economic reconstruction of the country,” Mr Majegere said.
However, State Minister for Labour Herbert Kabafuzaki indicated that the government will not support the Bill, arguing that labour should be voluntary and not forced.