Kirinyaga County government is set to roll out digital space skills courses in its youth polytechnics to help young people tap into the available online job opportunities.
The first lot of the trainers, drawn from all the 16 Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) centres within the county, completed the training on digital literacy, digital freelancing, and digital marketing. The training is being conducted by the African Centre for Women, Information, and Communications Technology (ACWICT).
Governor Anne Waiguru said the initiative will help youths acquire the knowledge to participate and take advantage of job opportunities available online.
Waiguru said this in a speech read on her behalf by Deputy Governor David Githanda during the closing ceremony of the training for the first lot of tutors to acquire the training.
“I believe that the knowledge that our tutors have acquired will be well utilised to increase the uptake of technology in polytechnics, and our youth will be in a position to take advantage of the many online job opportunities offered in the digital space,” the governor said.
She noted that digital platforms provide a wealth of online resources, levelling the playing field for people who might not otherwise have access to high-quality education, and challenged women and youth to take the lead in acquiring digital skills so as to change the trajectory of their lives through the available money-making opportunities.
The county has invested in ICT infrastructure in TVETs by establishing fully equipped computer labs with internet access.
The training is timely and is in line with the Ministry of Information, Communication, and The Digital Economy’s ambitions of having internet connectivity in every sub-county to enhance utilisation of online sources of income.
To inculcate digital competences from an early age, the county government is also piloting digital literacy in selected ECDE centres, with a plan to eventually roll out the programme in all the centres.
ACWICT’s head of programmes, Ms. Elizabeth Wanja, stated that there is a need for students to acquire and enhance their freelancing skills before enrolling in colleges or universities in order to secure digital jobs such as online writing and become self-employed.
“I would describe this type of skill as short, high-impact courses and would therefore recommend it for every youth. For the polytechnics, you have carved a niche; there is no competition with other TVET institutions,” she said.
A tutor at Kaitheri Polytechnic, Ms. Bernadette Wairimu Karanja, who is one of the beneficiaries, described the course as “eye-opening.”
“Integrating ICT in education will make the learning process more interesting, allowing learners to understand better and even ensuring they have jobs after school,” Karanja said.
Ndiriti Polytechnic Principal Mr. Nelson Karani said he will utilise the digital marketing training to increase the student population in the facility and help young people earn money through online jobs.
By Mutai Kipngetich