UNITES CISCO NETWORKING ACADEMY

UNITe Cisco Networking Academy is a collaborative effort between UNITeS Academy Foundation and Cisco with support from United Nations Information Centre. It is an innovative education program with the purpose to teacher students how to design, build, troubleshoot, and secure computer networks for increased access to career and economic opportunities in communities around the world. The Academy provides online e-learning courses, interactive tools, and hands-on learning activities to help individuals prepare for ICT and networking careers and entrepreneurship in virtually every type of industry.

The UNITeS Cisco Networking Academy program delivers web-based content, on-line assessment, student performance tracking, hands-on labs, instructor training and support, and preparation for industry-standard certifications. The students practice and test their knowledge by configuring and troubleshooting networks using hands-on labs and simulation software; real-world scenarios develop advanced problem-solving techniques.

UNITeS Cisco Networking Academy is a major contributor towards Nigeria’s educational transformation. In actualizing Nigeria’s target in human capacity building and development, our academies have trained over 8, 035 students (54% female) since inception in Federal Unity Colleges.

Mission of UNITeS Cisco Networking Academy

All students will leave school [Federal Unity Colleges] as ‘confident, creative and productive users and creators of new technologies, including information and communication technologies, and understand the impact of those technologies on society.

Impact

52 NetAcads in Federal government-owned Secondary schools

15  Girls only NetAcads

Graduated 0ver 8,000 cumulative students since inception(54% female participation)

Intervention & Support over the years

  • Provision of training assistance and technical support to ICT department in all the schools for easy implementation of FME ICT curriculum.
  • Provide support to data room for examination records.
  • Provision of internet to administrative blocks and ICT centers.
  • Provision of intercom to facilitate communication between Principals and Staff
  • Provide support in kind and cash to college activities like founder’s day, Annual Inter-house sport, Valedictory service etc.

Girls in ICT Initiative

ICT can break down gender discrimination barriers and provide girls with equal opportunities for growth and development. This is why UNITeS Cisco Networking Academy launched a Girls initiative in 2011. The initiative supports the Millennium Development Goals of United Nations [Gender Equality & Empowering Women) by providing a platform for girls to develop ICT. In the end the project aims to encourage more women and girls to pursue careers in ICT.

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ABOUT NATIONAL ICT CHAMPIONS’ OLYMPICS (NICO)

The growing demand for ICT skills has created a lot of opportunities for Nigerian youth especially the girl child. In spite of the increase in number of notable women in technology, women are still largely under-represented in Nigeria. There is a huge gender gap in the technology sector in Nigeria. There is the need to bridge this gap and with this in mind, UNITeS Academy Foundation through it’s platform, UNITeS Cisco Networking Academy started a tech competition for teenage girls in rural communities in Nigeria. The National ICT Champions’ Olympics is a national competition designed to;

  • Provide a platform to encourage and inspire girls to embrace ICT
  • Demonstrate the skills & capabilities of the girl child dispelling the notion that “ICT is a man’s job”. 
  • Highlight the need to encourage girls to embrace ICT
  • Encourage entrepreneurship skills & development among girls

All this is in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs’). We believe that inspiring and encouraging girls’ interest in technology will position them to become innovative and successful future leaders, contributing to the development of their families and the Nation. Investing in women’s progress is the most direct and effective way to invest in progress economically and socially around the world- Melanne Verveer

The National ICT Champions Olympics is aimed at JSS 2 and SS2 girls who are part of our academies all over Nigeria. The competition started with the regionals on 16 of June, 2016. The winners of the regions will then compete to be the national champion.

NICO SOUTH-EAST REGIONALS

The south eastern part of Nigeria had the honour of being the first region to host the competition. The competition took place on the 16th of June, 2016 with FGC Okigwe being the host school.

From all over the south-eastern part of Nigeria, 52 secondary school girls  (ages 12-16) gathered in FGC Okigwe not only to demonstrate their ICT competence and win prizes but for a chance to represent their region in the forth- coming national edition of the National ICT Champions’ Olympics.

The girls from the following participating schools: FGC Okigwe, FGC Nise, FGGC Owerri, FGGC Lejja, FGC Ohafia, FGGC Ezzamgbo, FGC Okposi, FGC Enugu and FSTC Awka competed in the various events at the competition. The competition featured:

  • Computer System Assembling & Troubleshooting
  • Logo Design
  • Quiz Competition
  • ICT Presentation
  • Networking
  • Game Development

The South-East regionals of the National ICT Champions’ Olympics was a resounding success. 19 girls won medals (6 Gold, 6 silver & 7 bronze) & prices for the different events. The wining schools also went home with cash gifts. Other participating students were not left out as they also went home with gifts.

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