Plan International Liberia is encouraging youth employment by training the next generation of computer specialists at a new computer centre in Lofa County, northern Liberia.
According to a PIL release, the centre is training young people and children from rural areas in computer science and technology skills, offering beginner courses such as practical applications of software packages, Word, Excel, Powerpoint and internet browsing.
“The centre will build the capacities of the next generation toward science and technology to meet the contemporary challenges and opportunities. Plan intends to promote a world where these children and young people can reach the global communities through technology and social media. I have already received requests from many of them on Facebook, Yahoo messenger, IOM chat; importantly some of the kids in the media practice are already gathering news stories from BBC sites.
“I am grateful for the intervention started. In order to get jobs in the modern world, learning to use a computer is absolutely key for young people.” said TarnueKarbbar, Programme Unit Manager in Lofa.
The centre has 30 brand new computers installed with software packages to provide training in basic computer literacy and information technology skills to students. The training activity has enrolled more than 30 young people so far.
SaybahKollie, 15, is learning new skills at the centre. “I know how to start my computer,” she says. “I am learning how to type using the Marvis Beacon teaching typing software. “I feel very excited for such an opportunity, because this is my first time I have touched a computer since I was born. I believe that after my graduation, I will be able to get a job.”
In post-war Liberia, employment opportunities are scarce, and one major criterion for employment is knowledge of basic computer skills. Karbbar says some students at the centre come from nearby towns and villages in Lofa to attend. “We are also impressed with the level of huge interest from the young people,” he said.
“It is our hope that many students will meet the job market with basic skills from science and technology adventures at the centre. We want our children in rural Liberia to also get reputable and lucrative jobs with international organizations and Liberian companies.
“We have started with basic computer knowledge but we hope to progress to web designing, blogging, Adobe Photoshop, and InDesign in the next fifteen months.” The centre is funded by Plan International Liberia, with all courses being offered free of charge, according to the release.