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UNDP is integrating ICT learning into youth development initiatives

UNDP is integrating ICT learning into youth development initiatives

March 2011 Informationand communicationtechnology (ICT) plays a major role towardseducating and preparing youth for employmentopportunities. There is a huge demand for educatedyouth with good ICT and spoken English skills inAfghanistan. Although there are many commercialoutfits which provide ICT training, the costs ofattending these courses are beyond the reach ofmost Afghan youth.

“The classes are free of cost. This has enabled me totake this very beneficial training course,” saysHumaira (pictured, third from left), a high schoolstudent.

To train disadvantaged teenagers in Afghanistan with basic ICT skills, UNDP’s National InstitutionBuilding Project (NIBP) designed a programme called ICT4Youth with the Deputy Ministry of YouthAffairs (DMoYA). The key objective of NIBP is to develop comprehensive and sustainable capacitiesin government of Afghanistan. NIBP’s capacity development advisor worked with the deputyministry through each stage of implementing the programme, including planning and designingcourses, selecting teachers, screening students and monitoring the implementation of theprogramme.

Students are trained by a qualified teacher for one hour every day in basic computer software andInternet skills. To prepare the students for future employment, the course also supports activitiessuch as writing resumes, searching job vacancies, and preparing for interviews. The timing of theclasses is such that school‐going children can attend the training sessions without missing theirregular school classes. Each trained student is given a certificate after successful completion of thesix‐month course by the DMoYA.

Why ICT4Youth works:

• Free courses with a preference topoor youth
• Safe and comfortableenvironment for female studentsand flexibility in bringingdependents, resulting in highfemale participation
• Class schedules suit school‐goingchildren
• Low cost, using pre‐fabricatedcontainers as classrooms, withcomputers and Internetconnection provided for by UNDP

In the 2010, 300 young Afghans were trained free of costunder this programme. Due to the flexibility of theprogramme, nearly 40 percent of the students were girls.“The classroom environment of ICT4Youth programme issafe and comfortable, so my family does not object to myattending these classes,” says Humaira. Another femalestudent, Zarmina, regularly brings her nephew to classes sothat she can watch him. In the first half of 2011, 400 studentshave already signed up for the training sessions.

Samira, in her early 20s(pictured, second from left,who works in the Ministry ofInterior, had never had achance to take a similarcourse before. She’sdeveloped her IT and English skills so much that now, she says, “Itrain a group of employees in the Ministry.”

Education of the youth is central to developing sustainable capacities in the country. ICT4Youth is asimple but progressive initiative started by UNDP’s NIBP and now adopted by other donor organizations supporting DMoYA, which feeds this very basic requirement for capacitydevelopment in Afghanistan. The words of Diogenes Laertius are befitting here:
‘The foundation of every state is the education of its youth’

The National Institution Building Project works to build robust government institutions and supportsustainable capacity development in the Afghan Civil Service. The project strengthens nationalinstitutional capacity and works to create an efficient and capable public sector workforce throughthe development of institutions and civil service at the national and subnationallevels, theestablishment of accountability mechanisms and effective utilization of resources for better servicedelivery. NIBP is supported by the governments of Australia, Canada, India, Italy, South Korea, andSwitzerland. 


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