As the world continue to harp on the gains and merits of technological development, Plateau State is one of the 10 Northern States that benefitted from the Basic Digital Literacy for Rural Clusters in Northern Nigeria.
This is part of Nigeria’s National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (2020-2030) Vision to transform the country into a leading digital economy providing a better quality of life for all Nigerians in 10 years, the UK Government, via its Prosperity Fund Digital Access Programme, signed an MOU for a resilience training agreement with the Nigerian non-profit organisation, Technology for Social Change and Development Initiative (Tech4Dev) to conduct the Basic Digital Literacy for Rural Clusters in Northern Nigeria aimed at Enhancing Pandemic Resilience.
The training programme had 1,338 beneficiaries across 10 states which plateau state was a beneficiary. The demographics of interest had 50% vulnerable Women and Girls, 30% are People Living with disability and 20% are vulnerable groups. 60% of the total beneficiaries are in age groups 8-18 years and 45-65years. Aggregated data indicates that less than 30% of the beneficiaries are married and 7 of every 10 are currently pursuing an educational career.
The basic digital literacy programme is aimed at sparking their interest in gaining advanced digital skills or even pursuing a career in technology.
The Curriculum includes a computing device and internet usage, digital information handling, online communication, online safety, virtual collaboration and exchanges aimed at closing the digital divide, enabling inclusive digital access for all and building communities resilience to current and future pandemics for the digitally-excluded or underserved groups in Nigeria.
The project coincided with the Rural technology outreach launch in 2020 by PICTDA to deepen digital education in Plateau State for the future of work. According to the DG PICTDA “each time we talk about automation in schools, hospitals, e-commerce and all other IT innovations we forget about inequality”. Tech4Dev, therefore, seeks to breach the inequality gap between urban and rural communities. The training which took place in Riyom local Government had 100 beneficiaries.
The learning and challenges were shared with key stakeholders and representatives of project states in Northern Nigeria. Three major challenges identified were connectivity, mobilisation and logistics and access to infrastructure. However it recorded huge successes.
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