UNIDO and the Government of Uganda started eLearning courses for road construction equipment trainers in Kampala, preparing national rollout
By Stefan Windberger
To address the industrial skills gap in Uganda, the Government of Japan, the Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Works and Transport (MoWT) and UNIDO, with technical support from Japanese partner Komatsu Ltd., are building the first dedicated training centre for road construction equipment operators in Uganda, METRAC (Mechanical Engineering Training and Advisory Centre – Luwero).
In recent years, the Government has procured road construction and maintenance equipment such as motor graders, wheel loaders, excavators, bulldozers and backhoes and distributed them to District Local Governments (DLGs) across the country. METRAC will allow to match this investment in road machinery with an equivalent investment in human resources: within the next two years, the training centre will train over 500 Ugandan road equipment trainers, operators and youth seeking employment.
To support the training of road construction equipment operators working for the MoWT and the DLGs in all districts across Uganda, UNIDO commissioned eLearning modules for the Komatsu GD663A-2 motor grader. The motor grader is the most complicated and crucial road construction machine used by the operators who are being trained by this project.
The aim of the eLearning is to provide an opportunity for operators to deepen their knowledge despite current restrictions on in-person training in Uganda due to COVID-19. It provides an opportunity for operators to learn 5 modules (machine familiarization; machine inspection and reporting procedures; operating procedures and equipment maintenance; machine safety and emergencies; and operating techniques) at their own pace and complements the simulators and in-person training.
After intensive testing of all modules with all project partners, UNIDO and MoWT arranged the first GD663A-2 motor grader eLearning for all MoWT motor grader trainers on March 2 at Victoria Equipment, the local Komatsu Ltd. distributor, in Kampala. The purpose of the in-person training was to familiarize the trainers with the eLearning and collect feedback for the rollout of the eLearning to the operators in the districts.
The training was very well received, with 100% of the trainers rating the eLearning content as either good or excellent. The overall verdict of the participants was equally encouraging, with 57% rating the training as good, and 43% as excellent.