Opinions of Social Work Lecturers and Social Work Students about the Relationship Between Education and Youth Unemployment: Example of Mbale District, Uganda
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This research aims at examining the relationship between education and youth unemployment in Uganda using Mbale district as a study area. The youth population is rising yet the economy is stagnant thus few job opportunities. Through education, the youths are expected to be able to either create jobs or increase their chances to access jobs on the labour market. However, many are unemployed despite being graduates. The question here is to understand why there are many unemployed youths despite attaining education. A qualitative research design was adopted which included the usage of two different but closely related semi-structured interview guide forms with a total of 20 participants, 15 social work students and 5 social work lecturers. This study was carried out between January and March 2019. The analysis of these participants’ opinions was carried out with MAXQDA 2018 software using thematic coding and data analysis. The results of the analysis reveal that indeed unemployment among the youths in the district is high and this has become a general concern to the public and policymakers. Uganda’s education system is found to be fostering a mismatch between the graduates and the market needs, commercialization of the education system, inadequate and under skilled educational instructors and poor curriculum development are some of the main challenges identified. Insufficient entrepreneurial skills, low level of aggregate demand for labour in the economy, corruption, poverty are among the other causes of youth unemployment in the district. Education may not have a direct relationship with unemployment however it has a strong link with other labour related issues. From the findings, there is a need for resources allocation towards primary schools as they are the foundations to Uganda’s education system and review the education curriculum so that students can be allowed to specialize from an early age.