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IT skills create job opportunities for youths

SCI & TECH
By Augustine Oduor | Jul 23rd 2012 | 3 min read
By Augustine Oduor | July 23rd 2012
SCI & TECH

By Augustine Oduor

One thing that bothers Erick Mutuku is seeing many young, energetic Kenyans on the verge of giving up on life just because they can’t get their dream jobs.

Yet there are opportunities in the country to make good money, especially in his area of specialisation — Information Technology.

Indeed Mutuku, 28, started enjoying rewards of his specialisation soon after graduating with an information technology degree from Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology in 2008.

That is when he sold his first software; a distribution software system to help multi-national companies sell their products through.

Some good money

“I sold the software for some good money. With more of such sales, one doesn’t need a big job. In fact, one such sale can sustain someone comfortably for months. The only problem is that many companies in Kenya still continue to outsource experts out of the country yet we are available and capable,” he said.

After making a huge breakthrough, Mutuku decided to equip other young people with skills for the IT sector.

His idea was to help them realise that they don’t have to be formally employed to make a living — that they could be self-employed.

In 2009, Mutuku joined a team that taught youths at eMobilis, a mobile technology academy that trains individuals on mobile software development as well as network infrastructure management. They learn at different colleges and universities.

Enough expertise

He wanted to reach as many young people as possible but they could not afford the small fee charged.

He talked to a mobile phone manufacturer who agreed to subsidise the cost. With more youths enrolling, Mutuku is now a happy man.

“As many IT companies come up, we should have enough expertise to work with them rather than give them a chance to import the same.”

So far, about 2,400 youths have been trained and all are attached to different ICT companies in the country.

As an IT teacher, Mutuku is disappointed that the Government has not ensured that all students in high school learn computer.

“Some of the learners, Form Four leavers and university graduates, were not taught anything about computers at all throughout their studies.”

He said computer lessons should start from primary.

“Between classes five and eight, pupils should be taught about parts of a computer and how to assemble them. In high school, they should be taught basic programming languages. At the university they will have a firm ground to start comfortable programming,” he says.

“To achieve Vision 2030, those charged with this responsibility should ensure there is more investment in ICT for schools as it is a sure way of empowering the youths and encouraging them to become self-employment.”

Computers for schools

Finance minister Njeru Githae only allocated Sh480 million to buy computers for schools in the 2012-2013 Budget. In its computer for schools project, the ministry of Education said some 2,000 schools have received one million shillings to purchase computers.

Education acting PS George Godia says each school would receive eleven computers, an LCD projector, printer, and a laptop for the teacher and accessories including the digital curriculum for teachers.

He said the ministry is rooting for ICT to be taught in all schools to improve on quality, access and equity.

Kenya Institute of Education director, Lydia Nzomo, says with modern approaches to education requiring teachers to adopt ICT to enhance efficiency, schools can no longer ignore technology in implementation of the curriculum.

This comes as it emerged that some 2.3 million youths will be jobless by the year 2030, the year Kenya is expected to be a globally competitive and prosperous nation with a high quality of life.

Now ICT, as Mutuku says, is the next stop in giving young people jobs. In fact, recent researches have proved that joblessness is the greatest headache for many young people.

It is time; the Government speeded up plans such as the Malili ICT project to help create jobs for youths and make Vision 2030 a reality.


 

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