The Special Adviser to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Education, Tokunbo Wahab, has said digital skills are critical to empowering residents economically, especially as technology is key to human existence.
He said this is why the state government is investing hugely in equipping students and youths with digital skills and cyber-security training, digital marketing, entrepreneurship, Python and other programming that conform with the 21st century digital requirement.
Tokunbo stated that the ongoing digital skills development programme was part of Sanwo-Olu’s development agenda to empower youths and young students across primary and secondary schools within the state.
The Special Adviser explained that the training was the second phase of the three-phase programme, designed to build a system that ensures youths do not need to wait for employment after their education. Rather, they become employers of labour, as well as solution providers for Nigeria, especially Lagos State.
The phase one of the programmes, he said, is in-school, which catered for schoolchildren in both public and private schools, while the second phase is for the out-of-school; the varsity education seekers, and the third phase is for in-school pupils and students.
He disclosed that during phase one of the scheme, pupils from 720 public and private schools were empowered with the required digital skills, thereby building an army of pupils that are tech-savvy.
He said: “For next year, we are trying to do three phases. And that is the In-school (phase one), Out of school (phase two) and the In-school (third phase). Our target is to ensure that at least one million people benefitted from the initiative.
“There is a lot we are doing backdoor that we cannot say publicly, for to security reasons. And that is why the State Government has been consistent in all its youth empowerment programmes towards a better future and crime-free society.
Wahab hinted that plans are afoot to ensure that different agencies and firms engage anyone certified under the programme in the state.
“We have told the consultants to help engage the best of the lot. And some of those that were training the new students graduated through the scheme.
And they are not doing this for free.
“We are also trying to ensure that some of the ICT companies engage them. We are not only going to give them that knowledge, but also ensure that they get fixed in their chosen field,” he said.
Earlier, Assistant Project Coordinator, LoftInc Allied Partners Limited, the organisation collaborating with the state government on the programme, Olatokunbo Aiyenimelo, explained that the training was fully paid for by the government, and that it also made the training easy for the participants.