A total of 1,789 youth and adult learners in Kericho County graduated after going through a six-week government sponsored Information Communication and Technology (ICT) course to equip them with digital skills that will enable them to tap into various opportunities in the digital economy space.
The Kenya ICT Training Programme in conjunction with Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth affairs, State department for Adult Education and Mt. Kenya University engaged the youth and adult learners for two hours daily in the last six weeks.
Speaking during a colourful graduation ceremony at Kericho Green Stadium, the Kenya ICT Training Programme Director Dr. Sammy Wambugu pointed out that the 1,789 graduands were drawn from Sub-Counties within Kericho County including, Bureti which had 613 students, Ainamoi 545, Kipkelion West 212, Kipkelion East, 372 and Belgut which had 47 students.
“Students of different ages went through the ICT courses and we are happy that they have gained skills that are very vital in today’s digital age. We still have classes on-going in Soin/Sigowet Sub County and once they are done with the course work, they will also graduate,” he said.
Dr. Wambugu was elated that the graduands were exposed to crucial market driven skills such as introduction to computer application programmes, Information Application Systems, Integration of ICT to E-government, and online jobs that would enable them start grow and manage their own businesses.
“The training was hands-on and involved acquisition of practical skills before examination and certification and so I can confirm that these graduands are now well equipped and ready to occupy and make an impact in the digital space,” added Dr. Wambugu.
Meanwhile, in statement read by the Youth Affairs South Rift Regional coordinator Janet Ayusa on behalf of the Principal Secretary for Youth Affairs Mr. Charles Sunkuli, the youth were challenged to embrace IT as the new frontier for development noting that the world has already transitioned to the digital age.
At the same time, the Kericho County Governor Dr. Eric Mutai who was the chief guest at the auspicious occasion congratulated the graduands and promised to establish ICT hubs in all the 30 electoral wards within the County to promote the digital economy activities.
Dr. Mutai further intimated that the ICT hubs fully equipped with computers and internet would act as incubation centres for the youth to nurture ICT related innovations as they explored cyberspace which he said is loaded up with opportunities such as digital marketing, online writing, transcription and virtual assistant jobs among others.
“I however urge the youth gaining ICT knowledge to use the skills constructively and shut destructive practices such as pornography that are harmful to their well-being,” stressed Dr. Mutai.
Also gracing the function was Kericho County Director of Education Ms. Rose Sagara who appreciated all stakeholders who made this programme a success noting that the 60 hours foundational course in ICT has equipped the youth with the requisite skills in ICT to enable them thrive in ICT environments and tap into possibilities available.
By Kibe Mburu and Purity Eboyi