Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is increasingly having pervasive role and presence in the various systems as it continues to shape all aspects of our lives. Numerous reform projects have been in place aiming to infuse ICT across various systems; education, health, agriculture etc. For instance; teachers are widely believed to be the key agents of any educational change! Accordingly, the Jordanian Ministry of Education adopted several ICT training courses aiming to prepare teachers to integrate ICT effectively across the curriculum.
According to Uganda Communications Communication statistics, over 60% of Ugandans have access to mobile phones, with an estimate of 11 million internet users. Ugandans are beginning to discover and learn that there are more uses of the phone than basic call and messaging functions. The demand for relevant applications is growing by the day from both the individuals and organizations. In addition, the environment is right and it’s time to become relevant in this part of the world.
The Ugandan government is committed to a number of ICT-related initiatives in the areas of e-Infrastructure, e-Government, Technology-enhanced Learning, eHealth, e-Commerce, ICT for Rural Development and Entrepreneurship. Although the implementation of these initiatives is primarily the role of government ministries, departments and agencies, district and local authorities, development partners and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), investment from the private sector and the building of ICT human resource capacity is important to ensuring their long term sustainability. However, a recent newspaper article in New Vision reported that only 37% graduates were “fit” for the job (source: East African, May 2014).
For ICT to play a significant role in the development of this country we must have the appropriate workforce that has the right mindset, skill set and tool set to develop appropriate solutions for the different sectors of the economy. The program will challenge the students to see ICT beyond the writing code and building basic networks i.e. project management, UI/UX specialists, business analysts among others. Within the six months we believe students will build significant interest into different verticals within the software development industry.
It is also important to note that the role of the IT professional is evolving very fast and as such they are required to possess new skills. At the moment there is no program that prepares these young graduates for the new workplace role. This program will attempt to enable the students appreciate the requirements of the dynamic workplace. Fig 1., is a graphical representation of the new dynamic workplace.
- To facilitate the development of a professional with the right mindset, skill set and tool set for the global workplace.
- To enhance the technical skills required to develop and implement relevant solutions to improve service delivery in the different sectors.
- To inculcate self-leadership principles as a pre-requisite for professional development at the workplace.
The program will focus on influencing three learning areas;
- Mindset; the program will have 30% of the program time and content focused on mindset. This aspires to develop a well-rounded human being who can readily respond to the call of service but most importantly a problem solver with a pro-active mindset. The content in this area will concentrate on the individual, to enable identify their purpose and mission in life and the legacy they would like to leave. Personal leadership requires that people connect with themselves and constantly evaluate their mission in life at all times.
- Skill Set; the program will seek to impart skills relevant to respond to the challenges in the different sectors that require ICT interventions. Students will be exposed to different technologies that will enhance their skill set. It is envisaged that after the training the students will have acquired appropriate skills to enable them to productively contribute to the development of the ICT solutions.
- Tool Set; the program will expose the participants to a multitude of tools to enable them effectively utilize their skills. IHSU and the project partners are seeking strategic partnerships that will contribute to the availability of appropriate tools like software, hardware and practice devices among others. Skills without appropriate tools will not deliver the desired Return on Investment.
By focusing on these three areas it is envisaged that the participants will complete the program as well balanced graduates with the appropriate mental attitude, a skill set and tools that will enable them deliver exceptional results.