Now, more than ever before, the importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education for this generation has never been more urgent. The changing dynamics in the world and every other vertical in the society including health, education, business, finance and banking etc. now require the infusion of tech with the processes and practices.
As about 80% of jobs in the next decade will require technology skills, the value of ICT skills in education can no longer be minimized. There is a changing tide in the gender-based jobs as jobs of the future would require creativity, ICT skills, problem-solving and other important soft skills that are transferable from one job role to the other. Fortunately, several initiatives have been developed to reduce ignorance of ICT skills especially for young students and prepare them for the jobs of the future.
In a collaborative effort, TechQuest and IHS Nigeria have partnered together to facilitate a new community initiative called Mission –T Nigeria. TechQuest STEM Academy is a non-profit STEM Education Provider that “empowers individuals, schools and organizations with content, resources, and tools needed to impact young Africans in STEM for the development of Africa and Africans”. The collaboration was created with the aim of improving ICT education and empowerment in 45 schools and communities across Oyo, Rivers and Kano states, Nigeria. It is envisioned that 60 educators will be impacted alongside 4,500 students across the geographical region.
Initiatives like this collaborative effort will go a long way in inspiring interest and participation in STEM fields in Nigeria regardless of gender, ethnic and religious orientations which has been a dividing line in the country.
At the launch of the initiative, the IHS Nigeria Corporate Social Responsibility Senior Manager, Cima Sholotan said:
“This program has been strategically developed to align with IHS Towers’ four sustainability pillars, namely: Ethics, People, Environment and Education. We believe that by empowering our communities and promoting ICT education, we are creating sustainable opportunities for competitiveness and improved ICT awareness in a digitally driven world.”
With the collaborative effort, IHS Nigeria will be funding the program as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) while TechQuest will implement the program through the design, development and delivery of the curriculum to be used for the program. Resource materials to be used include textbooks, workbooks and academic videos for the teaching.
Take-away point: We are coming close to the end of the year and several organizations and institutions would be embarking on CSR projects. Therefore, as a global citizen, you would do yourself and community a world of good if you update your knowledge of tech and acquire ICT skills. Irrespective of your age, gender, or employment status, this is one aspect you must not snooze on if you want to keep being relevant in the coming years.
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