Learning Informally

A Case for Arts Learning in Vocational Education and Training in Uganda


  • Maxwell Godwin Openjuru Ladaah Gulu university
  • George Ladaah Openjuru Gulu University
  • Kathy Sanford University of Victoria
  • Bruno de Oliveira Jayme University of Manitoba
  • David Monk Gulu University




This paper advocates for the inclusion of the arts in vocational learning programs in Uganda, as an integrated form of holistic learning oriented towards empowerment and entrepreneurship. Using community-based research in the context of vocational education and training (VET), our data emerged from open-ended interviews, focus groups and youth-led radio talk shows with stakeholders from public and private sectors, instructors, artists, NGO’s. Three significant themes arose from the data collected. Firstly, the pathways available to learners to become artists are limited by neoliberal and technicist orientations towards education. Secondly, there are significant potential opportunities and interests. Secondly,  there is a thriving informal youth-led arts community in northern Uganda, which thirdly, without ways for learners to generate income, they are not able to devote their time to learning through the arts, and their artistic endeavours are not recognized as important skills in their communities or in society. We demonstrate that there is a vibrant space in the informal sector of arts, that if supported could become important and much needed sectors Uganda.






Community-Engaged Research Articles