By Saminu Ibrahim
No fewer than 3,195 young people have been enrolled in the first phase of Kwara’s virtual digital training class which began on Thursday — 1,195 more than the initial figure (2000) intended for the exercise when it was announced.
The 3,195, who responded to the pre-training survey, were shortlisted from a total of 6,766 who originally applied for the virtual training.
The training, a component of the Kwara State Social Investment Programme, is being conducted in partnership with Google and Wootlab Foundation and is free for the enrollees and the state government.
“Of the 3,195, 1,763 have been inducted into the first cohort and the class began on Thursday and would run for the next two weeks. The second cohort comprises 1,432 whose class begins on May 18,” according to a statement by Chief Press Secretary to the Governor Rafiu Ajakaye.
“Each cohort runs for two weeks. The programme covers the following courses: Fundamentals of Digital Marketing (Accredited certification by Grow with Google), Applied Digital tools and G Suites (certified by Google), Social Media Marketing, Graphic Design, Business Branding and Presentation to Impress.”
The plan was to train 2,000, but the organisers had to increase capacity and resources due to overwhelming interest from the youth, the statement added.
Ogunniyi Tomilola Oyebola, a baker who is attending the class, said she applied for the programme to “acquire digital skills that will help me to be relevant in this 21st century and prepare for employment and entrepreneurial opportunities in my baking business.”
Kasali Olawale Taofiq, another successful applicant who is into security engineering, said he applied to “upscale my knowledge in digital literacy so as to apply it in my line of business.”
Fadiji Aminat Wuraola, a teacher, said she opted in to up her digital skills.
Chioma Okoro, Chief Operating Officer at Wootlab, said the response to the programme underlined young people’s thirst for digital knowledge.
“We were overwhelmed at the number of applications that came in, especially on the 1st and 2nd day. However, we expected a 50% response rate to the pre-programme survey that was sent to the applicants,” she said.
“We wanted participants that are willing to learn and improve themselves and the survey proved just that. We expect the participants to be better versions of themselves at the end of the programme.”
Muhammad Brimah, Anchor of KWASSIP, said the response of the applicants was impressive and encouraging.
He added: “It was quite impressive when we realised the massive response of applicants across the State. There has always been a thirst for knowledge in Kwara and it has been proven yet again. All our youths need is the opportunity. There is no better time than now, considering what the world will be post-COVID-19. Remote workers would be in high demand and it is good we are getting our youths prepared for the coming opportunities.”