Lilongwe — ..pic by Esnath Kalawe
Over 500 students who completed their Form 4 are benefiting free computer skills which are offered by UNICAF University in Lilongwe, as one way of bridging the deficiency of ICT skills existing among other school leavers.
UNICAF came in with the idea after noticing that there is a gap as far as ICT is concerned especially in Government schools compared to private institution.
In an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana) Wednesday in Lilongwe, Director of Marketing and Development, Lindatase Mwagomba said the idea was developed after conducting career talk in secondary schools saying they realized that some school they offer computer lessons while others do not, hence the initiative to bridge the gap.
"There is a gap particularly in government secondary schools where there is only one computer and a lot of learners grumble for it as compared to private schools, due to that they do not have enough knowledge.
"We thought of equipping them with basic ICT skills as awe are living in a technological world and as they are advancing with their school they will use this knowledge," She explained.
According to Mwagomba UNICAF have already coached more than 300 students saying the expected number to benefit out of the initiative is 500 in total, which is just the beginning since the programme will also be conducted next year.
"We have a located them in 8 cohorts, right now we are in 5th cohort but the plan is to put up 500 students before the end of the program, students should not be roaming around because they have nothing to do but to keep them busy and advance their career," she added.
The Director said this is an ongoing programme because next year they would do the same but the current one started on August 7, 2018 and is expected to take the whole month and certificates will also be awarded at the end.
"Next year we are going to do the same, this time around we cannot manage to reach each and every school leaver but we wish we could do that, rather we are asking our fellow institutions to follow suit so that at least we can reach as many student as we can," Mwagomba said.
Representative of the Cohort 5 and a Bwaila secondary school Alumni, Annie Phiri said the lessons have motivated her to encompass basic knowledge which would be used in future as she would be pursuing her course saying her passion to be a lawyer would be advanced as technology is needed globally.
"This is a great opportunity to us, the computer knowledge is needed each and every day as we living in a technological world, the knowledge I have acquired will assist me in any course that I will pursue in my life time," she elaborated.
Phiri described the offer as a rare opportunity saying it is very encouraging seeing a private institution offering lessons for free which is very uncommon.
She asked her friends to utilize the chance and asked other private institutions to follow suit so that more students would benefit and develop the nation at large.