By Innocent Iwara
At least 589 children between the ages of five and 19 have been given free training by the Rivers State government on different information and communication technology (ICT) packages.
This was discovered at the weekend at the state ICT Centre in Port Harcourt during the grand finale of the one month training where beneficiaries presented their developed applications and other works. They were awarded certificates afterwards.
The training was in partnership with the ICT centre and focused on coding, games development and animation, jointly called CODEGAMINATORS. Registration to participate was done via the centre’s website – www.techcreek.ng
According to Yeriso Harry, who manages the ICT Centre, the aim of the programme was to shift the children’s attention to technology – which is power in the 21 century – and better equip them for the future.
He said the large participation experienced was planned for, hence the training was scheduled for children’s long vacation from school.
Harry said the state governor, Nyesom Wike, was the sole brain behind the project as part of his spark to make ICT a forcefield in the state.
“The governor, in a bid to establish ICT as a very strong force decided to set up this place and then we felt that apart from doing trainings as normal, it’s best we start with children,” he said.
To tailor the training to the children’s understanding: “Classes were not just English and grammar. Every child was assigned to a system and it was a practical system. We did manuals for them, we got robots. We told them to look at them (robots) and produce the same kind of robots,” Harry said.
Some of the participants expressed their experience and perception of the programme.
“I learnt a lot of things like how to make robots and others,” said Victor Chiemeka who was drilled on robotics. “It is going to help me even in making money and all that. It challenges me to also do more things and increase my knowledge.”