About 500,000 students in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions will benefit from the Basic Digital Education Initiative (BDEI), an initiative of Tech4Dev and supported by Microsoft. General Manager Microsoft Nigeria, Akin Banuso, stated this last week in Lagos during the official launch of the initiative.
Executive Director Tech4Dev, Joel Ogunsola, explained the initiative is an experimential learning programme for helping beneficiaries acquire foundational digital skills. The move, he said, is borne out of the needs to equip the young minds with requisite skills for the knowledge-based future in the 21st century. He added the initiative was a result of Tech4Dev and Microsoft’s mission to solve the world’s biggest problems through technology.
“We are making ample investment in digital skills education over the decade through support from Microsoft philanthropy to train the next generation of young individuals looking to be part of the fourth industrial revolution as well as adults who very much need the skills to fully benefit from new opportunities being presented by the fourth industrial revolution.”
Banuso said: “In a world where digital skills are fundamental to success in so many environments, leaving people in the dark about this major part of their world amounts to an unacceptable gap in their education. We believe technology should be an equalizing force in the world—inclusive, not divisive. So, we are investing our greatest assets—our technology, grants, people and voice to advance a more equitable world where the benefits of technology are accessible to everyone.”
Former Ondo State Governor Dr Segun Mimiko, who was the keynote speaker, encouraged young people to push for democratization of education at all levels. “This revolution is dependent on knowledge. Technology in all forms is converging to produce a new reality which is capable of replenishing or perishing one and now is the time for our youth to decide which side they want to be on.”
Specifically, BDEI seeks to train 5,000 digital trainers who will in turn train 500,000 young people on digital skills in Nigeria. The offline training will supply teaching aids to the educators who in turn are expected to carry out this training in schools and communities within their states. The curriculum cuts across introduction to computer, productivity tools and workplace essentials, big data and cloud technologies, cyber security and digital lifestyles.