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YABATECH and UNICEF to train Nigerian girls

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By Abiodun Okunloye

GESP initiative will help girls and young women develop employable skills.

In collaboration with the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH) will be empowering one million girls in the country with essential education skills through the Girls’ Education Skills and Partnership (GESP) initiative. The college aims to empower 5,000 girls in Lagos State, enhancing their access to skills and economic opportunities. This initiative will help adolescent girls and young women develop employable skills, entrepreneurial capabilities, and proficiency in information communication technology (ICT).

Dr. Ibraheem Abdul, the rector of YABATECH, revealed this information during the inaugural session of a five-day workshop on Girls Education Skills and Partnership (GESP) funded by UNICEF and the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). The workshop took place at the college’s PTDF/CITM Computer laboratory and had more than sixty attendees. Abdul highlighted the importance of the project, aiming to offer long-lasting job training, vital skill development, and meaningful job opportunities for girls.

Teaching girls ICT skills extends beyond bridging the gender gap.

He stated the significance of having ICT expertise, emphasising their high demand and crucial role in building sustainable skills. He also noted that the project will implement a teaching method integrating online education with real-world work practice. Providing girls with ICT skills goes beyond closing the gender divide; it involves equipping them with the tools needed for a lasting future. Therefore, they are dedicated to giving students the essential skills to succeed in today’s ever-changing digital world.

Regarding the National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF), YABATECH is also setting the standard by focusing on training 5,000 women in valuable skills acquisition. This is the first college workshop that has focused solely on empowering young women and has been carefully designed to create an optimal environment for skill-building. The college is fully equipped to guarantee the success of this workshop through its resources and support. The leader urged everyone to stay completely focused throughout the rigorous workshop so that they could learn all the necessary skills and tools to ensure the project’s success.

Investing in girls’ skills will help advance society’s progress.

Furthermore, during his address, the Executive Secretary of the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), Prof. Idris Bugaje, commended YABATECH for its dedication to enhancing skills training in the country, as conveyed by the Director of the NBTE Southwest Zonal office, Mr. Ayo Aroge. He enthusiastically shared the board’s support for the college’s new program to educate young girls, emphasising its relevance to the growing need for trained workers in today’s job market. He believes that the country’s prospects pivot on the standard of education offered to its youth, and programs such as these are essential for maintaining its edge in the global market.

According to Prof. Bugaje, investing in the girls’ skills development at YABATECH not only empowers them but also plays a vital role in the comprehensive advancement of society. He commended the participants for attending the workshop in Lagos State, which aims to empower 5,000 girls with skills acquisition. He also highlighted the active roles that men will have in the workshop. During her opening speech, Dr. Funmilayo Doherty, the project coordinator, expressed gratitude for the workshop’s realisation with the assistance of UNICEF and FCDO.

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During the workshop, she mentioned that the facilitators came from a group of partners in the United Kingdom, from INASP and their counterparts in the country. The main emphasis of the workshop was on incorporating a gender-responsive pedagogy approach into the learning design template. Doherty announced the creation of various educational materials to provide market-specific skills to teenage girls and young women. Workshop courses cover topics such as Open Education Resources for GSM and Mobile Phone Repairs, Computer Hardware Maintenance and Repairs, Mobile Application Development, and Web Application Development, all tailored for Adolescents.

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