TECHNOLOGY: UCC, UICT launch digital skills training

TECHNOLOGY: UCC, UICT launch digital skills training

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KAMPALA — Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has partnered with Uganda Institute of Information and Communication Technology (UICT) to train digital skilling community instructors who will in turn impart digital skills among local communities in Uganda.

The online digital training of trainers, which was launched during a Zoom meeting on 30th July 2020, aims to enhance digital skills through training for selected ICT instructors or change agents.

Implemented by UCC’s Rural Communication Development Fund (RCDF), the project aims to harness ICT enabled opportunities for social and economic transformation.

UCC, through RCDF, aims to facilitate universal access to high capacity broadband for all Ugandans through targeted interventions that address barriers such as location, physical inability, gender and cost.

The skills to use Information and Communication Technology (ICT) are fundamental for participation in an increasingly digital world. They have been linked, at the individual level, to higher social and economic well-being and, at the national level, to a more dynamic and competitive economy.

The desired digital skills can be understood as the ability to use ICTs in ways that can help individuals to achieve beneficial, high-quality outcomes in everyday life for themselves and others.

Digital skilling also incorporates the extent to which one is able to increase the benefits of ICT use while reducing potential harm associated with the more negative aspects of digital engagement.

RCDF has in the past relied on schools with computer laboratory infrastructure as a platform to provide digital literacy skills to the communities around these schools, which has gone a long way to reduce the digital divide in the country.

A training programme in practical ICT skills was developed, seeking to enable the communities around schools with ICT laboratories to acquire digital skills.

Executed during vacations, schools contribute the environment, the ICT laboratory and the teachers, as UCC provides logistical support and technical guidance. On their part, local leaders such as area MPs provide the required mobilisation.

The main objective of this training programme is to enable the trainees to become people who can work for ICT facilities or operate their own ICT based business ventures.

To date, over 50,000 people in communities across the country have been skilled. In the past, the trainings were conducted through physical presence but with the advent of COVID-19 and thus the need to observe social distancing, a new model is being sought to enable the continuation of digital literacy skilling amongst the local communities in Uganda.

With digital skills becoming more and more important in the labour market and in everyday life today and in the foreseeable future, it is no longer optional to be digital literate.

To realise the objectives of the community digital skilling initiative, UCC is collaborating with UICT whereby training is to be conducted based on an online transmission model.

Online video conferencing technology will be utilised, involving UICT instructors who are to disseminate content to participants in different training locations.

The Government-owned Uganda Institute of Information and Communication Technology (UICT) that is based at Nakawa, is a leading provider of ICT-enabled human development needs in Uganda.

The training material will be of recognised and certifiable standard and value, such that participants are issued with certificates at the end of their training sessions.

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