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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

DPI plans children’s digital resort centre

Non-governmental organization and organizers of Digitest, the Digital Peers International (DPI), has commenced plans to celebrate its 10 year in style, with top on the agenda being its own children’s digital resort centre.

National Coordinator, DPI, Mrs. Ibukun Odusote, revealed this in a parley with ITRealms Online last weekend in Abuja, said that in the last nine years, the programme has performed to the delight of children, using Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) as its core outreach strategy.

She said that by next year, DPI would be able to provide statistics on where the past participants have clinched to ICTs and how they have grown within the sector.

Before now, she said during the camp which usually last for two weeks, participating children were taught how to create websites, stressing that by next year Digitest will introduce basic programming languages.

“We are going to put a lot of emphasis on programming,” she said.

DPI, she also said, is interested in building a place of its own any where in the country where it may have support from any state government.

“We’re ready to partner with any state that provide us with good land for proper children’s digital centre,” she asserted, emphasizing that the centre will offer learning and leisure and will like to have the 10th anniversary in such a place, even if it means for us to develop by ourselves.

“Although, we would like to have the children resort in Abuja because of its central nature and in any other state that welcomes us,” she said, pointing out that the resort must be structured in a way that it will be commercially viable.

In addition, she said, that the NGO has began to engage the teachers so as to sustain the tempo of what Digitest has been all about.

As said by her, the nation and DPI would be able to achieve more by encouraging that step byway of training based on some selected schools, explaining that at the school levels the teacher will be stimulated to develop interest in ICTs before their pupils come to the annual Digitest camp.

Assuring that DPI has a database of all the sites based on the theme of the year and they have been interesting sites created by children from various background.

Equally, she said, participating children in the last edition held in Lagos, for instance, created their own blogs which is on parallel with the website of the organization.

Projecting into the next 10 years, Mrs. Odusote said that she will like to see Digitest making its mark on the map of Africa.

She enlightened that children must be between the ages of eight and 18, stressing the reason for this age bracket, saying “they have to be in camp for two weeks.”

Children, she said, include the deaf and dumb, who have basic knowledge of computing, that is, ability to boot a system, handle the mouse and simple word processing, and must be nominated by their school principals, parents or guardians, even as teachers in secondary schools either self-sponsored or nominated by their school principals with requisite experience could participate.

Pointing out that 2008 edition has a few scholarships available to indigent students of Lagos State origin for Digitest Nigeria.

She recalled that the 2008 camp which usually held locally and internationally, saw participating children being hosted at the National University in Singapore, where they were trained on lots of Information Technology (IT) linked to the growth and progress made by Singapore and Dubai, even as they were presented with certificates.

She described Digitest 2008 anchored on the theme: “e-business: No barriers, no boundaries” as a huge success, and due to its outstanding support from the likes of Zenith Bank Plc and Omatek.

“Zenith has been steadfast in supporting Digitest and we challenge others to come up,” she urged.


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