REPORT OF NATIONAL IT TRAINING FOR YOUTH
As part of its youth development agenda, the Federal Ministry of Youth Development in conjunction with the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) conducted a one-week IT-based [swfobj src=”http://www.citad.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/slides3b.swf” align=”left”] Entrepreneurship Development Programme for Youth from 18 states and the Federal Capital Territory at the Kano University of Science and Technology (KUST), Wudil Kano State, the objectives of the training which held from 9th to 16th, January 2011 include:
1. To train youth development officers on IT-based youth development programme
2. To facilitate the development of a model youth development programme for the Ministry
3. To prepare youth for the work place by equipping them with life and employability skills.
4. To provide youth with crucial work based experiences within a youth – development approach
5. To develop the entrepreneurship ability of the youth
6. To develop their ICT skills for job creation and employment generation
7. To provide youth with an employment experience that put them in touch with real life labour expectations and practices
8. To provide youth with career instruction and greater awareness of support networks and various employment opportunities
The following states were invited to participate, nominating 12 youth. In addition, the youths were accompanied by Directors of Youth from their States:
On the Sunday, 9th January, 2011, the facilitator organization of the programme in conjunction with the host University set up a registration desk to receive, register and allocate participants to both their places of residence as well as to their training group. Participants were also given the Joining Instruction (appendix 2) which served as guide for participation in the Programme. As not all the states were able to arrive on the arrival date of Sunday, 9th January, the registration desk was left to continue registering the participants as they came..
The training programme consisted of the following Modules:
1. Windows 97
2. Microsoft Word
3. Microsoft Excel
4. Microsoft PowerPoint
5. Internet Utilization
In addition as youth development problem, it also included sporting and cultural activities.
The full programme is attached as Appendix 1 to this report, as can be seen participants were divided into three groups for easy of management. As a largely hands on training each participant has access to a computer through out the duration. An additional class was set for state officials, who accompanied the youth from the various states so that they could also benefit from the programme,
FORMAL OPENING CEREMONY
Although actual training commenced on Monday, 10th January, 2011, the formal opening ceremony for the programme was held on Tuesday, 11th January, 2011. The event held at the main auditorium of the University. The programme of the Opening Ceremony is annexed as Appendix 3. The programme which was facilitated by the head of the Public Relation Unit of the University started with the introduction of Guests at the high table, followed by an opening prayer. The Vice Chancellor of the University who was attending a meeting of the Association of African Vice Chancellors was represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Dr. M. T. Yakasai, along with all the Management team of the University. In his welcome address, the Vice Chancellor expressed appreciation for the selection of the university to host the training. He said that although a relatively young university but has already made some impressive achievements particularly in the area of IT training. He revealed for example that in the last two national computer Science competitions the university had came second and first respectively and now it was holding the National Trophy for the Best Student Software Designer. He assured the participants of a conducive atmosphere and good system with which to train. He also revealed that he was not the first time the university was collaboration with the University. Many of the academic staff of their university, including the former and current Deputy Vice were trained by CITAD under a special training programme entitled ICT for Academic Purposes. He also assured that the campus and Wudil were safe place and invited the youth development officials from the states to patronize the university.
The representative of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth Development, Mr. Peter A. Attabor then read the welcome speech of the Permanent Secretary, giving the background the programme and its objectives. This was followed by Remarks on the nature of the Programme by the Executive Director of CITAD. Hon. Minister, Ministry of Youth Development, Senator Akilabi Olasunkanmi, who was represented by Dr. Isa Baba, a Director in the Ministry then read his speech of the Minister giving the rationale of the programme and what was expected out of the programme. He traced the idea of the IT training to an earlier joint effort between the Ministry, Microsoft Corporation and CITAD which resulted in a two-week training of trainers for youth development officers from the Ministry as well as the states of the federation. He said that the end of the programme which held in May at the Digital Bridge Institute, Abuja the Ministry, realising the important of the programme decided to step it down for all the states of the federation, giving birth to this particular programme. He disclosed that other ICT-based programme that the ministry was considering included an e-mentoring scheme which would match youth people with experienced mentors across the country using an ICT-platform for the youth mentees to acquire business knowledge, skills and networks on their way to becoming successful entrepreneurs.
The event was covered by several local and national media including the NTA, Kano State Television (ARTV), Freedom Radio, Kano State Radio, Trust newspapers among others.
The focus of the training was to expose the participants to the various IT skills and to let them figure out what career opportunities were there so as to entice into taking the sector more seriously.
As part of ensuring a problem-free programme the team (consisting of the Ministry officials and staff of CITAD) paid a courtesy call on the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Wudil in his office on Monday, 10th January 2011. The team briefed him about the programme and its objectives as well as the participants and requested the support and cooperation of the Police during the programme. The DPO thanked the team and promised to offer any assistance requested. He however assured the team that Wudil was a peaceful place and they need not worry too much,
The team also on the same Monday visited the Commandant of the Road Safety Corps in Wudil and briefed him of the programme and made a request for the Corps to offer excursion and cover for the participants on the date they would be going out for excursion. He expressed appreciation for the courtesy call, promising that the Corps would provide the assistance and requested that a formal letter be put to that effort,
The Team led by the Vice Chancellor and the Representative of the Minister also paid a courtesy call on the Makaman Kano and District Head of Wudil who received the team in his palace on Tuesday 11th January, 2011. The Vice introduced the entourage while the representative of the Minister, Dr. Isa Baba spoke on behalf of the Team which consisted on delegates from all the participating states. Following the Speech of the traditional Ruler, CITAD Director then offered a vote thanks, indicating that the team was very happy that in spite of the fact that we gave the Traditional Ruler very short notice he accepted to welcomed and received us in his palace.
As part of the Programme arrangements were made to visit forum places however because of time constraint this reduced to only two places. The two places were selected for their education value. These were the Kano State ICT Park which the state government has invested in the building and setting up of a work class technology enclave that would generate thousands of jobs especially for youth and the Kano Museum which provides a tour course on the history of Kano and the culture of its people. The excursion which took place on Friday (instead of Saturday as planned in the programme) was escorted by the officers and men of the Road Safety Corps).
At the Kano State ICT Park the participants were received by the officials of the Kano State Ministry of Science and Technology led by its Permanent Secretary as well as the Special Senior Assistant to the Kano State Governor on ICT, Malam Salisu Abdullahi. The Director of CITAD introduced participants and their coordinators as well as the Federal Ministry of Youth Development officials, spoke on the National IT training programme. The Special Adviser, Malam Salisu Abdullahi then formally introduced members of the Kano ICT Park Project Team, including the ICT Park Consultant (who happened to be the Director of CITAD) and briefed the participants on the project, its objectives, significance and the state of the completion. He then entertained questions from the youth after which they were taken round the various section of the project.
At the Kano State Museum the youth were taken to various parts of the museum where the guides explained different aspects of the history and culture of Kano State.
CLOSING GALA NIGHT
The Gala Night was held on Friday, 14th January 2011. The idea to hold it on Friday rather than Saturday it was planned for was to allow those who wanted to leave at the end of the training on Saturday to have the opportunity to participate in the event. Prior to the event, CITAD had asked members of each of the participating teams that were interested in making cultural presentation to indicate interest and if they needed some cultural costumes to also specify them so that these could be procured. Some of the states did and CITAD procured the costumes while other said that they were going to give impromptu performance and would not need any special costumes.
A cow was also slaughtered for the event. The event held at the Main Auditorium from 9.omm. It featured speeches and cultural dances from both Kano State based cultural Group (the Koroso dancers) as well by the states contingents. The event lasted 12 mid night.
Following the Gala night certificates of participation were distributed to the participants in the morning
The training has imported IT foundation skills on the participants and has given them wider knowledge and awareness about the business potentials in the IT sector. In particular, the following are some of the outcomes of the programme:
1. The States have now a foundation crop of potential IT trainers for future IT training programmes for youth in the respective states
2. State Ministries of Youth have been sufficiently motivated to replicate the same programmes in their respective states as part of the their youth development programme aimed at reducing youth unemployment
3. The trained youth have know been exposed to IT and would seek for avenues to further deepened their knowledge and skills on IT
4. Both the Federal and State Ministries of Youth Development have now based curricula materials upon which to build future youth development programmes
5. The image of the Federal Ministry of Youth Development as a proactive establishment concerned with the problems of youth in the country has been deeply created in the minds of the youth as well as the state ministries. This has earned the Ministry and indeed the Federal Government goodwill from the participants, their states ministries and their parents
6. Bringing together the youth from different states provided an opportunity for the youth to experience living with people of different cultural and religious background, establish new friendship and set up networks thaht afre needed for national unity and harmony in the country.
The following recommendations are made:
• Where the Ministry wishes to provide training to many people, it should consider non-residential training which is cost effective
• For participants to gain more skills, programme like this one should last for at least 10 days
• The Ministry should capitalize on the trainings and move its proposed e-Mentoring Scheme from the concept stage to a practical reality
• The Federal Ministry of Youth needs to develop a mechanism to follow up on the participants to able to establish to what extent the beneficiaries are able to capitalize on the training to advance their careers.
• There is need to further encourage the State Ministries to further replicate similar trainings at their state level
• The Federal Ministry of Youth Development should utilise the existing skills, personnel and equipment from within it to provide IT training in its various youth development centres across the States.
• This training had focused on foundation IT skills. There is need to follow with more advanced IT skills training that would see the participants acquiring competitive skills that would make them IT service producers and providers in their communities
• It would be useful for the Ministry to set up listserve for the participants to continue to network and share experience, and thereby developing an e-based peer-to=peer mentoring programme.