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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Digitest to empower 400 children

Digitest, an initiative of the Digital Peers International (DPI), has concluded plans to empower over 400 Information Technology (IT) youngsters at this year’s edition.

Digitest Nigeria is an annual gathering of children with focus on IT just as the 2007 edition would hold at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja.

This is coming as 30 of these whiz kids are slated for the international version of this year’s Digitest Abroad to be held in Singapore.

Disclosing this, National Coordinator, DPI, Mrs. Ibukun Odusote, said that each of the session, be it Digitest Nigeria or abroad would last for two weeks with the theme: Excellent Governance through e-government.

She also said that the programme has been designed to expose participating children, aged 8 to 18 with the basic IT training and website design on the Internet using various tools.

“Team building among Nigerian children, thought provoking debates and lectures are some of the sub-themes for the programme,” she declared.

While Digitest Nigeria would hold at the Loyola Jesuit College Abuja, between August 19 and 31, she said that Digitest Abroad has been scheduled for August 2 through 13, 2007 at the Informatics Institute in Singapore-South East Asia.

Mrs. Odusote noted that the focus on children was because no development nowadays takes place without Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), even as computers have taken over the determinants of national development.

“Digitest which is IT based is a modest contribution to the computer age in terms of creating awareness for what would happen in this country if any of our children between the ages of 8 and 18 now are not computer proficient in the next seven to 10 years, it would be disastrous for this great country,” she lamented.

Mrs. Odusote added that the concept of using vacation periods to host Digitest camping was not an accident, but carefully designed arrangement to ensure that school children are heavily involved in IT as their vacation jobs instead of making unfriendly friends and associating with undesirable elements within their midst or spending their long vacation fruitlessly.

She stressed that DPI recognises this temptation and equally came up with the idea.

While charging parents to create an exciting and focused future direction for their children, Mrs. Odusote noted this could be achieved by involving and registering such children as DigiPals, members of the national Digitest IT Club and get them acquainted with the new world order based on ICT.

DPI is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) championing the development of ICT capabilities in women and children, and empowerment based on knowledge.

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