Beneficiaries hail TETFund for addressing skilled manpower deficit
Participants at the recent two-day capacity building programme for ICT staff in tertiary institutions, have commended Sunny Echono-led Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) for the effort to fill existing gap in skilled manpower.
The Fund had brought together ICT staff of beneficiary institutions from across the country for improved knowledge in essential skills in digital communication and ICT.
Mr. Bamgbola Adebimpe of the Federal College of Education, Kotangora, Niger State, noted that the training was impactful. He added that the gains were also immense and according to him, it was a wake-up call to begin to explore the process of self-development in the area of emerging development in computing such as machine language and Internet of Things (IoT).
“The training impacted positively and since it was “Train the Trainer” programme, students will benefit from it because whatever I have gotten would be stepped down to them”, he added.
Also, Hajara John Garba of ICT Centre, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, noted that her knowledge in database system increased. “I now know how to develop a database for different categories. I also learnt about retrieval of database.”
Adding: “I learnt a lot about machine language and IoT, and I can now take students on how to develop a smart home, smart city and so many other things”, she said.
In his presentation sub-titled, “Digital Skills Divide”, Echono, noted that a major skills gap exists in the nation’s educational system.
“First, we are not producing enough skilled manpower to service our population of over 200 million. The deficits are both technical and sectoral. Second, there is a mismatch between the skills required by employers in today’s digital world and the skills possessed by graduates produced from our institutions.
“This is further exacerbated by the fact that even our teaching, non-teaching and other management staff do not possess them in the right numbers. We want to do our best to bridge that gap.”
The TETFund boss added that if the government succeeds in equipping students with digital skills, they will become more marketable in a digital-driven job market, which will increase their chances of employability and career success.
“For you our educators, we want to equip you with the essential skills. Training you can be used to provide tech support to your ICT platforms and infrastructure, and to train your students and other staff in your institutions on digital literacy using those platforms.
“Furthermore, this training will play a pivotal role in propelling the digital transformation and technological progress of our tertiary institutions. Equipping educators and students with proficient digital literacy and essential skills will create avenues for enhanced research, innovation, and collaboration, both within the institutions and beyond. This not only empowers you as individuals but also fosters an environment conducive to technological advancements that can drive positive change in our country”, he said.
Speaking further on TETFund ICT Projects, the Executive Secretary explained that the Fund was not only committed to Digital Literacy but re-designing the entire ICT landscape to expand access, quality, equity and inclusiveness in the nation’s educational system.
“To this end, we have commenced various projects including Thesis Digitization Program, Beneficiary Identity Management Service (BIMS), Tertiary Education, Research and Application Systems (TeRAS). Others are, Consolidated Library Access Platform (CLAP), Aggregated Journal Subscription starting with EBSCO, Sponsored Mobile Internet Data on and off campus, Remote Monitoring Projects Platform and BPP Compliance Portal, among others.
“These programmes along with the hybrid /bimodal learning platforms created will deliver significant value to the ICT landscape of our beneficiary institutions.
“Even within the Fund, through the beneficiary submission portal, we are processing most of your submissions electronically, and efforts will continue until we achieve full electronic submissions for all intervention lines from physical infrastructure to ASTD conference attendance.”
Concluding, the E.S urged participants to be champions to their institutions. He noted that the training will take place at six centres in all the geopolitical zones of the country.
“We decided to host this first diet on our premises to see for ourselves and assess its impact. I hope your time with us will be productive and that you will find this training useful for the purpose that it was conceived”, he said.
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