In our Digital Skills Programme, we highlighted the impact of the Digital Divide in work, education and social life, with the target being the underprivileged in rural areas and slums, as well as the general public and target groups.
However, owing to the fact that Education will have a direct impact on work and the economic and social status of an individual, we at Digital Literacy Initiative, have dedicated an entire programme to empowering the 21st Century learner. This may be a pupil in upper Primary, Secondary school, University or Tertiary institution.
Where education is heading, anyone in a learning environment will be left behind if they do not have the basics like; introduction to Computers and windows, Microsoft Office applications, internet, and the more advanced fields like Software and hardware development – depending on their career goals.
This programme will analyze the specific needs of students in both the rural and urban areas and present them with solutions. What some may need is the initial access to a computer to overcome the fear and naivety when it comes to handling the gadget.
We believe that once a student who has never touched a computer spends time with and in front of a computer doing the basics, including turning the computer on and finding their way around it, then and only then, can they progress to other things.
Further still, the training and conversation for the Learner-Engagement Programme will progress into Advanced Search, and evaluation of information among the multitude on the internet. The ability to separate “FAKE NEWS” from what is real, and in the case if a student, “FAKE INFORMATION” from what is accurate, is what will make a world of difference.
The Learner-Engagement Programme will seek to direct students to the unfilled Digital Jobs available, as an alternative in the event that they are not employed in the field they majored in at University and Tertiary institutions.
For those who may have not managed to make it beyond Advanced Levels of Education and the dropouts, Digital Literacy Initiative seeks to introduce them to the concept of “Self-Learning,” – further opening up to a world of opportunities through encouraging them to make use of the available Experts on Video-sharing platforms as well as the free MOOCs.
We believe that, whereas some students are aware of these opportunities, others are unaware of the power they have in their hands on their Mobile Devices and computers and would rather spend all their time browsing the various Social Media Networks for controversial news, gossip and socializing.
In more developed countries, when it comes to Education, the key conversation is on how teachers and professors can take on a coaching role, rather than an information-giving contribution because they are realizing that the next generation of Learners can access a lot of what they are taught in school by simply browsing the internet.
In Africa, the more pressing need is to skill students to be able to attend online courses from respected Universities and acquire degrees without leaving their own countries. When we, as Digital Literacy Initiative skill thousands of students in such ways, we will be satisfied with our contributions.
There are numerous possibilities with our Learner-Engagement Programme beyond access to experts and introducing them to the concept of being Lifelong Learners who are self-taught.
If ever there was a time when the need to skill students to use ICTs for learning, Covid-19 has made the need more obvious, with Educationists and governments alike looking for solution to the challenges that the need for Social Distancing is causing the Education sector.