ICT courses help Congo youths get a job
Without ICT skills, young people have a hard time developing in this world, and the same goes for Congo. Many students at (applied) universities in Congo’s capital Kinshasa mainly follow theoretical courses: practical lessons are lacking. They do not have the opportunity to develop their ICT skills, because there is hardly any material available. At one of the universities, there are only 30 to 40 computers for 4000 students, causing the students to have little opportunity to put their theoretical knowledge into practice. For this reason, project ‘Livingstone Bantu’ was initiated: a project which offers ICT courses to young people, in order to increase their chances on the labour market.
Through ‘Projets Mikondo’, education and training are made possible for the poorest children in the Mikondo quarter in Kinshasa, Congo. In order to help the students and to give them more job security after their education, the project Livingstone Bantu was started. With this project, an ICT education centre is being founded in the centre of Kinshasa. Students can follow various ICT modules here, as an addition to their studies. They can practice their skills in Word, Excel and programming. This practical experience in ICT gives the students more confidence, and significantly increases their chances on the job market.
During their studies, ICT knowledge is essential. But due to the current situation, it is impossible to practice these skills: “To be able to work for a decent amount of time on one of the few computers here, you need to have a lot of money and contacts,” a student at the university in Kinshasa points out. Working in shops and companies requires knowledge of computers as well: “I cannot work with computers, but I do need to enter and edit data for my boss,” says a young craftsman. The same goes for young people who would like to find a job in health care, as a host or as a cashier.
The project has been delayed due to corona. Equipment had to be shipped to Kinshasa from Europe. The supplies have now arrived in Kinshasa, and the space has been furnished. The students of the project, who unfortunately have to wait longer before they can start their courses, are kept in close contact through Facebook. A few courses have already been taught on a small scale, in light of what is possible in the current situation. This way, the youngsters still have a chance to work on their ICT skills a bit, until the courses can be taught in full.