NJALA AND DSTI PARTNER WITH IBM TO PROVIDE DIGITAL SKILLS TRAINING IN SIERRA LEONE DURING COVID-19 COLLEGE CLOSURES
Wednesday 13th May 2020 – As part of its preparedness to use Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to continue teaching and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, Njala University (NU) and the Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation (DSTI) have partnered with IBM to provide online digital skills training to support faculty members, students and youths in Sierra Leone. This initiative is part of the University’s overall Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Strategy to promote innovative teaching and digital learning.
The following initiatives are currently being roll-out in Sierra Leone to support faculty, students and young people:
- IBM Digital Nation Africa:
Online FREE Digital Skills Platform with over 85+ Courses, 280 Hours of learning on emerging technologies and professional soft skills. IBM has created a unique URL that we can use to track the signups and progress of users in Sierra Leone. This URL is included on university portals and zero-rated through Orange-Sierra Leone. Link: www.ibm.biz/seirraleone-dna
The Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary School also has online links (https://mbsse.gov.sl/e-education/) for young learners in secondary school seeking exposure to the Explorer Modules teaching beginner level concepts of these technologies. Students are also exposed to the Innovator and Professional Soft Skills modules to help prepare them as they transition to Universities. The explorer module is available on Android Mobile apps, so students can learn on the go.
- IBM Skills Academy:
This program is for academia where IBM trains faculty members and students on specific technology skills that are in demand in the industry. The technical topics are much more in depth and broader including fourth industrial revolution skills. This is to help bridge the skills gap between academia and industry as well as linking them to jobs after school.
Njala University is coordinating this national program for all Universities in Sierra Leone under the leadership of the Ministry of Technical and Higher Education. Staff and faculty from various universities are currently undergoing a 3-week online training, covering Artificial Intelligent, Cloud Computing, Internet of Things and Blockchain.
- IBM Academic Initiative:
This is a self-service program where IBM Software and other resources are provided to students and faculty members from accredited universities to use for Academic and Research purposes only. This program is available for students in university in Sierra Leone particularly those involved in research.