YABATECH, UNICEF to Empower Nigerian Girls with Skills, Economic Opportunities

Funmi Ogundare 

Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH) has  partnered with the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) to train one million girls in Nigeria on education skills through the fund’s  Girls’ Education Skills and Partnership (GESP).

The college is expected to empower 5,000 girls in Lagos, to boost access to skills and economic opportunities for adolescent girls and young women, supporting them to become employable, entrepreneurial and better skilled in ICT. 

Speaking at the opening ceremony of a five-day course design workshop on GESP, sponsored by UNICEF and Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), the Rector of the college, Dr. Ibraheem Abdul emphasised the significance of the project, which seeks to provide sustainable livelihood training for the girl child, necessary skills acquisition and having significant employment.

He highlighted the importance of ICT skills, stressing that they are in high demand and are essential for long-lasting skill development. The project, he stared, will utilise a pedagogical approach, combining online learning with practical workplace experience.

According to him, “empowering our girls with ICT skills is not just about addressing the gender gap, it’s about equipping them with tools for a sustainable future, and we are committed to providing our students with the necessary skills to thrive in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape.”

Abdul stated that the college is leading the trend through its objectives of targeting 5,000 women for profitable skills acquisition as far as National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) is concerned.

“This is the first workshop in the college that will strictly target girls’ empowerment, it is very expedient to give the women the conducive atmosphere in acquiring skills, and the college has what it takes in ensuring that the workshop is successful”, he said.

The rector enjoined the participants to pay rapt attention during the intensive workshop in order for them to acquire the required skills and template towards making the project a success.

In his remarks, the Executive Secretary, National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), Prof. Idris Bugaje, who was represented by the Director, NBTE Southwest Zonal office, Mr. Ayo Aroge, commended the college for its commitment to skills development in Nigeria. 

He expressed  excitement about the college’s initiative to train the girl-child, which aligns with the current demand for skilled professionals. 

“The future of our nation depends on the quality of education we provide for our young people, and initiatives like this are crucial in ensuring that we remain competitive in the global economy.”  

Bugaje stated  that by investing in the skills development of our girls, Yabatech is not only empowering them, but also contributing to the overall development of our society.

He stated the workshop has active roles in which men will play as well and  congratulated the participants for attending.

The Project Coordinator, Dr. Funmilayo Doherty in her remarks, stated that facilitators at the workshop were drawn from the team from United Kingdom partners, INASP and the Nigerian counterparts with focus on gender-responsive pedagogy approach will be integrated into the learning design template.

She added that the range of learning resources will be developed to equip adolescent girls and young women with market relevant skills and the courses including  resources for Adolescent Girls and Young Women developed as Open Education Resources for GSM and mobile phone repairs, Computer hardware maintenance and repairs, Mobile Applications Development and Web Application Development, during the workshop.

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