Amidst COVID-19, Digital Kwara is helping young persons achieve their dreams - 9japarrot


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Thursday 8 October 2020

Amidst COVID-19, Digital Kwara is helping young persons achieve their dreams

By Ibraheem Abdullateef

By the time COVID-19 is behind us, Kwara would be boasting of youths more equipped, exposed, and sustainably empowered for employment opportunities and other career goals, according to vital early indications of impacts on the participants in the ongoing Digital Kwara 2.0 programme. 

With schools closed and offices shut in the first wave of lockdown in May, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq- led Kwara State Government through the remarkable Kwara State Social Investment Programmes (KWASSIP) introduced Digital Kwara to engage young Kwarans and equip them with the modern skills set relevant to the labour market in the 21st century. 

During that period in May, 3,193 got selected for the training and graduated as certified Digital Marketers, Web designers, Graphics designers, and social media managers by Grow with Google and Wootlab Innovation. A check on some of the alumnus late August revealed a significant boost either in their careers or personal businesses. One particular man, AbdulKareem Aliyu, a Printer, confided that acquiring graphics designing skills helped to improve his profit-making. He was not alone.

Popoola Lawal, a young woman selling fabrics from the house, used to give professional designers money for her commercials. She no longer does that after being taught in the Digital Kwara's Graphic design course, creating her own flier and saving herself money. Ola Johnson, Cinematographer, realised the world was changing and needed to improve on promotion for his business. After one week in the training, he came out with the idea of creating a website and pages to market his works. He feels better appreciated now. 

There are so many inspiring stories both from the enrollees at the maiden edition in April/May and in the ongoing second edition which started 21st September, 2020.

Exuding infectious happiness and candour, Munirat Adam, a nineteen-year-old undergraduate student of Law at the University of Ilorin is one of the latest additions to the growing list of youths emerging more equipped, exposed, and better from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

She remarkably finished the course for two weeks in just 24hrs. That is a new high-- breaking the record held by Emmanuel Iyanu, 20- year- old fresh graduate of Biology/ Computer Education, from Oke- Ero local government from the maiden edition in April/May. 

As great as that could be, such accomplishment by the young lady pales to the mental and psychological boost it gives her. Like she captured it, "It makes me know I can do anything I put my mind to". That is one special feeling every youth needs to stake strong claims to progress and development. 

With the new skill set, Fundamentals of Digital Marketing, Munirat is poised to improve significantly in the aspect of promotion, attracting more customers to her perfume business. While hindsight made her establish one during the lockdown, Kwara Government, through Digital Kwara, is giving her a helping hand in developing it. Someone somewhere would say that is sustainable empowerment. 

There is another such story. Olugbon Saheed, a school teacher, also applied for Web designing in the ongoing digital training. He is a fresh graduate, holding first degree on Counsellor Education from the University of Ilorin. 

Saheed picked the news about the training from the page of WhatsApp -- the very platform many young people rather misused as an outlet to attack the government and public officials. Armed with the information, he proceeded to Google to know more about it. That was in May. Upon seeing the potential, he waited for months for another batch to come out. 

He eventually applied this time, drawing inspiration from the last batch. What such a purposeful decision now affords him is the knowledge of web designing in a space of four days. The website he created had an irresistible message which propelled our meeting. I was right, there was more to it.

"The website carries my dream. As you can glimpse from it, I want to have a school of my own. The website I created underscores the purpose of applying for the training, " he confirmed.

For a young man presently teaching at a private school, that may really sound lofty. But it is not unrealisable with time and more similar opportunities affording personal and career development. Aside from boosting his CV., the digital training provides an opening for him to earn a livelihood. 

The wonderful thing about both Munirat and Saheed is that prior to their courses with Digital Kwara, they didn't have relevant experience. 

Although COVID-19 grievously affected education, business, health, among other things, and developmental analysts globally are calling for wider reinvention, Kwara is leading the charge on youths engagement and development equipping the youth with skills germane to achieving personal and social development post coronavirus pandemic. 

It is awe-inspiring.

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