In an ideal world, one would be expected to get a job immediately after graduation, settle down and maybe start a family. But this is not the case in a country that passes out more than 150,000 graduates every year with 87% of them unable to find jobs. This means that at least nine in every 10 Ugandans who have completed any form of education are unemployed.
The unforgiving economic situation makes it even harder for graduates to survive after investing millions in their education. This has, in so many ways, contributed to the high levels of corruption and unethical practices, even in the medical field.
Speakers at the 5th graduation ceremony were aware of this fact and they took turn, one after another to caution the graduands against using underhand methods in trying to get rich faster. In his message, the Most Rev. Archbishop John Baptist Odama expressed faith in the graduands to rise up to the occasion.
“I hope that having achieved the academic success, you have also developed a rich understanding of service above self, caring attitude, commitment, love and character. These soft skills will serve you well, not only at your various places of work but wherever you will be,” he said.
Addressing the graduands during his homily, the Vicar General of Gulu Archdiocese, Msgr Mathew Odong said; “You are the Solomons of our time who asked God for wisdom and it was granted. Put the patients first; not money because you studied in a religious institution that is carrying the mission of Jesus Christ.”
While Dr. Safinah Musene, the Commissioner in charge of Health Training Education at the Ministry of Education and Sports in her speech delivered by Birungi Samba Harriet, asked the graduands to make use of government programs like the Parish Development Model (PDM) to better their lives.
“I implore you to invest in income generating activities to change your livelihood. You have acquired knowledge, attitude and skills in human care during your training. I now challenge you to move to the next phase to apply what you learnt,” she said.
Honesty, hard work, teamwork, timekeeping were some of the soft skills that the Hospital’s Executive Director, Dr. Cyprian Opira said will complement heavily on the academic achievement. “Today you officially get your certificates, some of you are already working, others looking for jobs, do not forget that you need both the technical and soft skills in order for you to progress in your career,” he said.
The School Principal, Mr. Olal Sabuni Marcellino asked the graduands to respect the patients and use their skills for the benefit of the patient.
It was all joy, glamour and jubilations as more than 700 graduated from Lacor Health Training Institute as it marked its Golden Jubilee under the theme: “Celebrating 50 years of success and Excellence.”