Kitgum Business Institute (KBI) was officially opened in March 2015 offering a National Certificate in Accounting and National Certificate in Business Management. In August Alfred Ochola (Principal) opened the new semester offering Diploma level courses for the first time. We have enrolled 33 students studying a National Certificate, and 25 students into the National Diploma.
Business education is not new to IGF, as it was previously offered from a small department of Childcare Technical Institute. This however, is a new and separate educational institution to provide business focussed education to the community in Kitgum. KBI is the only institute in Kitgum offering National Certificate and National Diploma courses in business. The next closest institute is 100km away in Gulu (2 hours by bus). A number of IGF staff members have previously been educated at the institute in Gulu, and we are now taking advantage of the opportunity to educate students here in Kitgum.
IGF views education and training as two of the most important investments in the future of any community. The education infrastructure which was destroyed during the war is slowly being rebuilt, and former child soldiers and other youth affected by the war are starting to learn new skills and trades. Technical skills and trades such as carpentry, building and tailoring have improved significantly in the region through the training provided by IGF. To complement this, and to further contribute to growing the community and economy in Kitgum, KBI is providing students with business knowledge and skills.
The demand for business education in Kitgum is high, and with the new tarmac road soon to be completed from Gulu all the way to South Sudan, Kitgum has the potential to grow and develop further. Many students have not had the opportunity to study business due to the distance to an institution, and the costs involved in studying at a higher level. KBI offers students the opportunity to study a nationally recognised Certificate or Diploma course at a reduced cost. Support from a donor is also allowing students facing financial hardship to receive tuition based scholarships.
One of the values of KBI is the development of the whole individual. The focus is on developing the student into a mature and responsible member of society. This means that students complete internships at local businesses and government offices, taught to problem solve and think critically, they are mentored, and encouraged to take responsibility for their own education and futures. KBI is aiming to develop students that are job creators, not only job takers.
As with the start of any new project, the beginning is often challenging and resources are limited. The first semester of operation required students to borrow chairs and tables from Childcare Technical Institute. Thanks to donors and supporters of IGF, CTI carpentry students are currently making furniture for KBI. The classrooms being used by KBI are in the Technical building which was recently completed and commissioned with the support of the Australian High Commission Kenya, through the Direct Aid Program (DAP) funding of AU$17,000. Additional resources such as compulsory textbooks, more computers for the computer lab, and so on, will be sourced over time as the resources become available.
If you would like to support KBI or any of the other educational programs at IGF, please follow the links.