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Knowledge Economy: NITDA lauds unbundling of HND Computer Science programme into specialised fields

Malam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, CCIE

*The National Information Technology Development Agency applauds the Federal Government for the decision, describing it as a visionary move, game-changer and seismic shift in equipping Nigerian graduates in the four distinct specialisations with in-demand skills crucial for navigating the digital revolution ecosystem

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

Describing the Federal Government’s move as ‘a game-changer’ and ‘seismic shift’ in the Information Technology (IT) ecosystem in Nigeria, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has commended the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) on its recent decision to unbundle the Higher National Diploma (HND) in Computer Science programme into four distinct specialisations.

ConsumerConnect reports  the four Computer Science specialised fields are Artificial Intelligence, Network and Cloud Computing, Software and Web Development, as well as Cybersecurity and Data Protection in Polytechnics, Monotechnics, and related institutions of learning in the West African country.

Extolling the Board’s decision in a statement issued Sunday, January 14, 2024, Mrs. Hadiza Umar, Head of Corporate Affairs and External Relations at NITDA, noted the IT sector regulatory agency said: “This visionary move is not just a game-changer in Nigeria’s IT sector; it represents a seismic shift in equipping Nigerian graduates with in-demand skills crucial for navigating the digital revolution.

“This development positions Polytechnics at the centre of nurturing young Nigerians capable of tackling specific challenges and capitalising on the vast opportunities presented by emerging technologies.”

NITDA views the decision as a significant step in promoting the growth of the IT sector and enhancing the capabilities of the country’s workforce.

The statement also noted: “It bridges skills gaps identified during our IT Skills Gap Assessment, conducted in partnership with CC Hub, which highlighted 12 IT skills in high demand both i Nigeria and globally.

“NITDA recognises the immense potential of Artificial Intelligence, Network and Cloud Computing, Software and Web Development, as well as Cybersecurity and Data Protection in shaping the future of Nigeria’s IT sector.”

The agency further said that why it established the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR) and the Office for Nigerian Digital Innovation (ONDI), as special purpose vehicles to nurture talent and equip interns and National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) members with the requisite skills to excel in their digital journey in Nigeria.

NBTE’s decision for paradigm shift in educational approaches, tech innovation, says Inuwa

Speaking on the development in the country’s education sector, Malam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, CCIE, Director General of NITDA, emphasised the need for collaboration between educational institutions, industry stakeholders, and regulatory bodies to ensure the successful implementation of these specialised fields.

The Head of Corporate Affairs and External Relations stated

NITDA as well extended its gratitude to the National Board for Technical Education for its vision and commitment to advancing technical education in Nigeria.

The IT sector regulator said the move courages a paradigm shift in educational approaches, urging institutions to proactively incorporate elements of digital literacy into their curriculum structures.

“The Agency believes that embracing the National Digital Literacy Framework (NDLF) would serve as a transformative step towards ensuring that the Nigerian educational system remains at the forefront of technological innovation and equips students with the competencies needed for success in the modern world.

“NITDA looks forward to continued collaboration to create an environment where Nigerian IT professionals can thrive and make significant contributions to the global digital economy,” the statement noted.

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