Tech-In-Education: Starting a Ripple Effect

This is a guest post by Babafemi Ogunmade: A linux system administrator and a mobile apps developer. Femi can be found on  Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Google+

Ever since I came back from IDLELO5 organized by FOSSFA (Free Software and Open Source Foundation for Africa) which was about using FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) as a means of achieving MDGs (Millennium
Development Goals) in Africa, a stark reality dawned on me and many of our Nigerian delegates at the conference that we are far behind when it comes to leveraging on FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) to improve our fortunes and take our society to the next level.

As if that wasn’t enough, on my way to the March Edition of Developer’s Parapo at CCHub I decided to pass through Yabatech and when I got to the front of the School of Engineering Building, what I saw nearly left me in tears. I remember that when I was leaving the school in 2002, it was a normal site to see Engineering students carrying Technical Drawing boards, as Engineering Drawing was a compulsory course for all engineering students, but I was moved to tears because this was 2012 when there was LibreCAD or AutoCAD and 10 years after I finished my O.N.D (Ordinary National Diploma), it is saddening to note that nothing seems to have changed and the thoughts that readily came to mind is that these guys are at a disadvantage because in the words of Leo Stan Eke, the Chairman of Zinox Computers, “We are producing Analogue graduates in a Digital World.”

I was shocked because I also remember throughout my four/five years in an Engineering College, my own lecturers also took the same path and only very few of them tried to bring changes to the curricula and to teach us what was relevant to the system, and more shocking to say that what I learned in Engineering School neither prepared me for life after school, nor made me employable.

So the issue on mind ever since is, if we are serious about becoming one of the industrialized nations by year 2020, then we need to take a cursory look at our curricula with a view of putting up programmes and courses that would allow students while in the various higher institutions of learning develop careers in the software industry as software
developers, UI (User Interface) designers, Web developers, Animation experts, Linux System Administrators and so forth.

I recall during my interaction with one of the delegates at IDLELO5 from Zanzibar (A lecturer at the Zanzibar University), where he told me that starting from next semester, his students would be starting with the LPIC 1 Curriculum and also recall that another delegate from Kenya and Uganda told me of their plans to adopt LPI Essentials as a base for developing the next set of Linux system Administrators for their society.


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