Schools Computer Club Initiative’s (SCCI) has continued its bid to build up student/pupil experts as the workforce of future advancement for tomorrow’s information and computer technology.
The team recently led pupils from different schools in Lagos on an excursion at Sidmach Technologies Nigeria Limited as it seeks to ensure school pupils’ acquisition of computer skills, exposure to a real IT world through seminars, workshops, and exhibitions.
Speaking to Nigeria CommunicationsWeek while leading team to Sidmach, as part of activities to mark SCCI’s tenth anniversary, Mr. Adesina Adewale, the president, said that they are keen to ‘impose’ professional responsibilities on school IT team leaders, build self-esteem for members, and motivate young growing children to embrace the appropriate use of the computer.
Adewale said that the big picture behind SCCI was to develop technology innovators ‘Technnovators’ who will eventually become technology entrepreneurs, developing solutions to solve the nation’s multifaceted challenges.
He said, “We hear about the likes of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Michael Dell, and other technnovators who today are big entrepreneurs. Today, Microsoft, for example, has become a household name world over; people are using the products of Microsoft daily, ranging from the development of animation, games, office allocation to the point of using the cloud.
“It is part of reasons we brought the students on tour of Sidmach Technologies. So, we are passionate about ‘catching them young’, right from primary and secondary schools, such that on graduation they don’t keep hoping on a non-existing white collar job. They are been positioned to develop the entrepreneurial mindset.
Speaking Achievements in the Last 10 Years:
“We started this advocacy in 2007. what inspired us was a speech by Professor Charles Uwadia, who happens to be the current President/Chairman in Council of CPN. At that year’s conference, he charged us to develop the students at the secondary school levels to the point they can stand out and develop solutions/platforms that meet societal needs.
“Since then, we have been developing students in primary and secondary schools to the point many of them are interested in taking up careers in IT which is called the Nigerian Association of Computer Science Students (NACOSS).
“We have some who have passed through Sidmach Technologies either during industrial training/ attachment or internship programmes. We have some of them who can develop games, others- animations; we have others who can develop browsers and other solutions that can meet the need of the society.
Hopeful About the Future of the Students:
“Following our activities in the last 10 years, we are hopeful that technnovators and techpreneurs will be developed from these students. Invariably, we are reducing the problem of unemployment in the country. We are hopeful that these students will be able to meet the needs of our communities.
Why Choice of Sidmach
“Recently, we had training at the University of Lagos (Unilag); we had a ‘hands-on’ session. In IT, it is always imperative to marry the academic and the industry ideas to have a robust solution or platform. So, it is a combination of the gown and the town. At times we develop a curriculum that fails to meet the needs of the society.
“Therefore, we have to find means of bringing the academic knowledge to bear on the industry practice. This excursion has accorded the students opportunity to meet software developers at Sidmach. The Company has done so much in the software for JAMB, WAEC, even in the oil and gas industry. They have the SmartSchool solution too. So, we are here to let the students appreciate what is happening in the industry so that upon graduation it wouldn’t be all new terrain to them. That’s why we choose Unilag, representing the academic environment and now Sidmach Technologies, a leading indigenous software development firm.
Also, in a chat with Nigeria CommunicationsWeek, Mr Jide Awe, chairman, Conferences at Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), said that such programmes that allow hands-on experience, are critical in building the future of the youths. “We are already in a knowledge-led economy showing more digital processes. We don’t want to continue as consumers, therefore, we must train our children on 21st Century skills- programming, application development, so they will not be disadvantaged. Already, a lot of countries (developed) are ahead of us. Thank God some of the kids have access to the resources they can use; what we now need are initiatives as Schools Computer Club Initiative (SCCI) to provide guidance. The essence is to ensure the students do no use those things for wasteful ventures”.
“The significance of exposing the students to industrial operations,” Awe added, “is that, it is one thing to learn to program or build software, however, it is important to know how it is being done; which is more encouraging to the students who have seen how this Company operates daily, especially in developing the software. It is a sort of career enlightenment to them. It gives them a practical feel of what it takes to be a programmer in a theoretical and practical sense. They were not on tour of a foreign firm and the reason was to inculcate the spirit of patriotism; we can develop solutions to the challenges we face in the country and even ship the solutions to other nations”.
He urged the students to make the best use of knowledge acquired during the visit at Sidmach which was set up by entrepreneurs. “It must be stressed that Sidmach was established by entrepreneurs. They (the students) too can become IT entrepreneurs”, he charged them.
On Schools Computer Club Initiative (SCCI) at 10, the Chairman NCS Conferences, described the platform as a commendable initiative that should be encouraged; “that is why NCS and CPN have always been part of it. The Initiative has had its ups and downs, but it is here to stay. We really have to encourage them, because the issue at stake deals directly with the future of our children”.
Legacy Sidmach Is Leaving Behind For Next Generation,
Mr Olayemi Oladiran, head, Sales & Marketing, Sidmach Technologies Nigeria Limited, while addressing the students, said he was quite impressed to see them, especially with the capabilities they have shown, even as younger ages. “They are already coding. It gives me the confidence the next generation will do better than we have done”.
“We don’t mind any one of them working for Sidmach. Obviously, we have a standard and of course, it is going to be the best that will take in it. For those that have the vision, I will encourage them to work hard to excel in what they do. Importantly, they should not have employee mentality. Rather a mentality that can tell them- look I can develop a prototype software solution that I can take to the market. So, they should not limit themselves.
Partnership with OEMs
He said they are partnering with Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) We do have such as HP, Microsoft and Sophos to build dependable solutions that address student’s e-learning challenges.
“We support them; to get them achieve their best. We support their dreams and aspirations. Whatever we need to do, that we shall do to provide encouragement and enabling environment to fan up their dreams”, he pledged.
Source: Nigeria CommunicationsWeek