ICT: NITDA Some partpants
To Train Over 350 PLWD
…Gets Gombe Governor’s Commendation
By Olabisi Olaleye
Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr Isa Pantami disclosed that it has commenced a specialized information and communication technology (ICT) Training for over 350 Persons Living With Disabilities (PLWDs) in the country.
According to him, the effort on digital inclusion is part of the agency’s mandate to develop and regulate Information Technology (IT) in Nigeria.
“Digital inclusion ensures that disadvantaged groups are given access and skills required to enjoy the benefits of the information age”.
According to the World Bank, one billion people globally live with one form of disability or another. The World Report on Disability (WRD), jointly published by the World Health Organization and the World Bank in 2011, narrowed that figure to 25 million as the number of Nigerians living with at least one form of disability.
Continuing, Pantami said, “This number constitutes a significant proportion of the Nigerian population and it is critical to improve their aptitude for and access to ICT for the benefit of the economy. The Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari places a premium on investment in people and emphasizes the need for social inclusion. As such, it is important that our digital inclusion efforts should include PLWDs”.
He added that Nitda has been organising an annual ICT training for PLWDs as a means of building their capacity to make them self-reliant. The training takes place in the different geopolitical zones of the country.
“This year’s edition is taking place in the North East. Gombe State was selected as the venue of the event due to its proximity to all the States of the Zone”.
Meanwhile, during a courtesy call, the Governor of Gombe State Dr Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo commended the effort of the current management of NITDA for transforming a sleeping Agency to a very active and productive one.
Over 350 participants applied for the training and the participants were selected by a team of experts. These experts were drawn from the academia, civil society, representative associations of the PLWDs and the NITDA team. The participants were drawn from all the six states in the north east zone. Each of the clusters for PLWDs was represented in the selection. The three clusters are the physically challenged, those with hearing impairment and those with visual impairment.
During the training, the participants with be taught topics that include computer essentials, online collaboration, digital literacy and entrepreneurship. The curriculum would also include cluster-specific topics. Each of the participants will be provided with a specialized laptop with custom software installed to meet the distinct training needs of the participants in each of the three clusters.
“We believe that the laptops, training and post-event mentorship will empower the PLWDs and enable them to establish their own business. We also believe that it will enable them to serve as trainers and mentors to other PLWDs”, the DG said.