Uganda has hundreds of accredited learning institutions, with all offering different accredited courses to students. It’s also important to know that some of these schools offer business related courses; with few institutions focusing on IT related courses.
With changing trend globally, and in all aspects of life – and in institutional management, there is high demand for IT specialist as human resource.
At SAIPALI Institute of Technology and Management located at Bakuli, Mengo – Namirembe road in Kampala – this is exactly where their focus lies.
The Institute Founder & Director Mr Amit Srivastava knew his idea to start an IT and Management school in Uganda, was not only going to make him popular, but as well to offer skilled based training and fast opportunities to graduates.
His institution, since 2013 – has trained and passed out almost 2000 students, trained on short-term courses and diploma program.
As part of its social corporate responsibility, SITIM has trained more than 200 government and Buganda Kingdom employees [officials] to equip them with IT skills.
During its second graduation ceremony held last week, 26 April Friday and graced by an official from Ministry of ICT and National Guidance – Mr. Silas Ngabirano – who represented State Minister Nantaba Idah Erios – applauded the institute for imparting knowledge and skills to ‘these young people’.
“Technology and Management has overtime distinguished itself as one of the leading educational institutions in Uganda. I implore you to maintain the standards that you have set and keep on offering such high quality education to our students,” Ngabirano said at a graduation ceremony that saw over 150 students graduated with certificates and diplomas in Infrastructure Management Service [C/D IMS], among other courses.
He added: “I asked employers to hire employees from qualified and certified institute like SAIPALI. The ministry is very glad of the management and implores you to continue teaching IT related courses – software engineering”.
Similarly, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance, Mr. Bagiire Vincent Waiswa, says it’s the mandate of the ministry to promote the access and use of ICTs in Uganda.
“It gives me a great joy to witness such large number of students graduating in computing studies plus other related courses! This is a big milestone for both the institution and government,” his message reads in part.
Abas Kigozi – a graduate of software engineering [diploma] could not hide his excitement. He however, termed the journey ‘interesting and challenging’.
“It became so challenging balancing studies and work but the institute supported me. I’m going to seriously work for three years and go for further studies,” Kigozi, who by the time he was studying was also working for Turkish Light Academy, says.
Imodia Sophie – who too graduated with a diploma in Visual Effects and Animation [VEA], told TND News it has not been easy since 2016 when she joined.
“SAIPALI is not only an institute but also a home. The management supported me because at one point I thought I was not going to finish and graduate,” she said, adding, “Education doesn’t only stop here, I will go for more, and perhaps come back here when they introduce degree courses.”
Ainomugisha Baker – diploma in software engineering graduate says after graduation: “It’s something memorable; the institute has been cooperating with us – especially lecturers and I give them credit.”
How SAIPALI was established and the journeys since then
After the graduation, TND News caught up with Founder and Director – Mr. Amit Srivastava – and below his words.
Tell us how you came about forming this institute
AS: The journey has been very tricky. I came to Uganda as a tourist in 2008. That time I came just to enjoy Africa since I had a friend who told me about the continent.
When I came, I found Uganda and the first observation was the level of IT was very poor. I decided after 3 years to start IT Company here and the industry was not yet crowded. I involved people from here, went to different universities and conducted the test in order to get the employees.
Were they skilled?
AS: We gave practical tests and none of them were able to pass a single question on programming, topology, etc. The results were shocking – it was a shocking result for me and yet we had invested a lot of money and we had to bring workforce from India – which was against my thinking.
Many of the IT teachers in Uganda are good for nothing and cannot give learners good exposure in IT and they teach only according to syllabus of the UNEB.
Now at SAIPALI, we have junior trainers who can be future experts and they are working with us. These are human resource we have trained.
Your courses sound strange and some may ask, what is infrastructure management service?
AS: Somebody advised me to start training people in IT in Uganda and it has been tremendous. However, many don’t understand us and even the ministry of education and sports officials didn’t know it either. When we went to Ministry of Education and sports, National Council for Higher education to have our certificate and diploma courses approved and accredited, we got shocked as well that they had to consult experts and be told it’s a marketable and high demand courses.
What is so special about these courses?
AS: We designed a course according to the demand in the market. Our core area has been to focus on IT and only then, APTEC was famous.
How are you finding it in changing the mindsets of Ugandans toward IT industry?
AS: The mindset of Ugandan is that ‘no funder no nothing’. Ugandans have a very bad work culture and people are much self content and only work for survival –and if there is something for survival, they are content.
People in Uganda have a feeling that when there is no someone “inside” you don’t have a job. You can get a job basing on your skills. Also, I have been learning, studying the mindset of Ugandans and knowing their psychology has made me to survive.
What are you proud of?
AS: We were able to make people know that diploma can do. We want to upgrade to degree in the same courses. In last graduation, we had 60, and this time we have more than 150 students. At least, I have produced at least 200 human resource persons and I’m sure 180 are working.
Since 2013, almost 2000 students have been trained on short-term and diploma programs
SITM is growing at the rate of 60% [in terms of number of students and academic strength].
SITIM has been transformed into an automated work environment; electric library that supports research in ICT and plays role in sharing expensive resources for free.
OPENING OF ICT COMPANY
SAIPALI infotech launched its own software ‘School Management System’ [SMS] which successfully has been implemented into the management of the SITM
For inquiries, call the Institute on +25678875119.