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Alternative Learning; Imparting Skills through Tailoring, The MASHAV Perspective

September 25, 2016

One of the things I took home at the MASHAV-Youth at Risk –training was doing things differently. Never to give up on any student and to always give the Youth a second chance. In Israel, there is always a second and “last chance”, no child is left behind. This was greatly brought out by Mimi Ackerman, Head of training 360 º programs. All stakeholders should be involved and should have interest in what goes on with the Youths.

I am a school Principal at Our Lady of Good Counsel S.S.S Gayaza, a school for 1160 youth’s boys and girls, between the ages of 13-19.A very sensitive age for the Youth.

In Uganda, our education system is mainly academic/ theoretical, not project skill based. Most of the skills for the youths are not discovered nor nurtured because the curriculum, does not allow it. However, in the new curriculum that is being drawn termed Skilling Uganda- the youth will be given skills that will help them in future as employers and as employees.

Our Project at METC was, closing the Gap with Alternative Learning. This did not end at METC, but as a School Principal, I was able to report about the training at METC to the Board of Governors and I informed them about a project we could start at school and without any objection we started a project called; Alternative Learning: Imparting Skills through Tailoring-The MASHAV Perspective.

This project is to help the students acquire skills in tailoring. The staff members were also put on Board for they also lacked the skills. Having the staff as learners is also an attraction for the project to be appreciated by the whole school community.

We have started the project with available resources. We had 7 old machines that were repaired to start the lessons.  The project has 50 participants, 25 staff members and 25 students. More would wish to join but facilities are not enough in terms of equipment.

Due to the high demand for the skills, we bought 3 more second hand sawing machines in order to reduce on the ratio of students per machine though still many have to wait aside.


As a school we employee a trainer for tailoring in collaboration with the neighboring technical school in our community.

So far we have, the cost encored amount to 3.200.000 = shillings. I would appreciate if we got more sawing machines since the class is big. The lessons are conducted after 4:40 pm and from Friday to Saturday.

I wish to thank very much the government of Israel/MASHAV for the inspiration into alternative learning. Giving a second and last chance to these students is important.

I would wish that whatever can be done to add onto what we have started would be highly appreciated.

I thank the coordinator of Youth at Risk, Mr. Damian Filut, for following up our projects and keeping in touch. I also appreciate the new program about sharing views through the virtual workshops we have recently been attending.  It brings the global world together. 

Agnes Ssebayigga, alumni Youth At Risk 2016