The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and the Centre for Information and Technology Development (CITAD) have commissioned the School of Network Community (SCN) to connect people from different communities and promote access to the internet, especially in rural areas across the country.
Speaking on this development, the director-general of NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi revealed that 50 of the 200 participants – spread across 10 communities in 10 states – in the ongoing project will receive a diploma in advanced IT studies.
Abdullahi made this known at the virtual opening ceremony for the second phase of the project implemented by NITDA in collaboration with the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD).
“This training, starting from today, will span 3 weeks. The first 2 weeks will be dedicated to training on the basics of IT and, upon completion, you will all receive certificates in IT.
“Subsequently, you will all be subjected to an examination and the best 50 participants from all the select communities will be shortlisted to participate in the advanced class which will be completed in the third week.
“This means that only five of you within each community will be shortlisted for the advanced class. Once the advanced class is completed, all participants will receive a diploma in advanced IT,” Abdullahi explained.
Represented by the NITDA’s deputy director, digital economy development, Mr. Preye Itonyo, Abdullahi added that the second phase of the project is sequel to the first phase and the trainees that were trained during the first phase will transfer knowledge to 20 participants in 10 communities across 10 different states.
The project which is taking place in Kano, Jigawa, Kwara, Ebonyi, Akwa Ibom, Oyo, Bauchi, Borno, Kastina and Gombe states will have about 360 people trained in a month.
“The essence of this project is to provide all of you with relevant digital literacy and skills to build and sustain computer networks within your communities.”
He averred that this will help improve broadband and information access in their various communities and also help close the digital divide between their communities and the urban areas; considering that broadband penetration in Nigeria stands at 44.5 per cent.
In his remarks, the executive director, CITAD, Engr. Y. Z. Ya’u said the training is part of promoting digital inclusion, noting that after the training, participants will be able to join millions of people who work online and can utilise the internet for various purposes including cutting-edge skills that can make them not just employable but employers of labour.
“Our hope is not just that you learn but that you utilise all you have learned,” Ya’u said.
The SCN project will also help prepare citizens within these communities for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which will be driven by digital technology and digital skills.