More on Cisco and Rural Training Centre

Thanks to spreading the word via Tuttle last week Cisco people are now interested in finding out more about the threatened Cisco acadamy in rural Nigeria (see Help needed to save Rural Training Centre - do you know anyone in Cisco?

John Dada has been asked for additional information by Cisco in Nigeria, and the situation has been clarified. We still don't know what the outcome will be, but we remain hopeful.

Cisco and underserved communities - good news and bad news

Cisco has a policy of assisting underserved communities. It was this policy that helped John Dada to establish the Cisco Academy at Fantsuam in Kaduna State, almost a decade ago. The academy has successfully trained hundreds of young people, helping them to escape from rural disadvantage and high unemployment, and instead become part of a skilled and sought after work force. The training programme is now threatened by an essential upgrade, billed at approximately UK pounds 4,000, which the rural training centre cannot meet.

Cisco sees the pricing of this upgrade as affordable, and therefore part of its ongoing support. However from the start, in agreement with Cisco, the rural centre has provided training at lower prices because of local levels of poverty, and therefore cannot afford the upgrade. The training programme is on hold.

Some facts and figures

I asked John Dada various questions during our Dadamac UK-Nigeria meeting this week.

John Dada's replies:

We started running our Cisco Academy since 2004,and we had Ochuko who left his private sector high paid job in Kano, to come and take the Cisco classes for us.

He nurtured our Cisco and under his guide we also began to offer a second Cisco training called IT Essentials

(NB You can see Ochuka and the Cisco lab approx about one and a half minues into this short video about Fantsuam Foundation - following John Dada's introduction and then Kazanka Comfort talking about the micro finance programme.)

John Dada's replies:

As the Cisco and IT Essentials grew, we now provide work experience opportunities for students from all over Nigeria, who need that as part of their degrees

In the early days of our Cisco, we agreed with the regional Academy that due to our rural under-served loaction, we would charge considerably less than the urban based Cisco Acaemies. So while they charged N70,000, we charged N35,000 for male students and N30,000 for female students.

This is how young women like Omolayo got to read their Cisco. (Note from Pamela - I know Omolayo and had asked after her.)

This measure must have appealed to Cisco International because we were actually providing service to under served communities, at a 50% discount

We were teaching the same curricullum as the urban Acaemies but earning 50% less than they were

Inevitably, when the time came for upgrading the bundles, there was no way we could afford to pay what the urban Acaemies were paying

I will get you the statistcs of the Academy. This is the updated result by June 2012:
    Graduated 583 students exceeding our target of 500 for the year.
    Introducing Dokeos: An E-learning platform deployed to enhance course delivery and learning.
    Inclusion of strategic topics in Basic skills and Diploma course modules. These modules include discussions in Open Source, Gender and ICT and Community Development as it applies to ICT's.
    Migrating fully to an online Information Management system to enhance service delivery, better and more accurate reporting, financial tracking and class management.
    Partnership with various local groups with a view to delivering ICT training at our standard using existing facilities at their various locations. While St. Joseph came much earlier, an initial pilot phase was carried out with the Jama'a Childrens computer Club, the proprietor Moh'd Tajin was very eager to have ICT training delivered to the muslim kids who had no access to computer training. However, this partnership still requires a lot of funding to ensure its continuity and sustainability.
    2010 zittnet/academy graduated 679 students exceeding the target of 600 for the year.
    The number dropped in 2011 due to the sectarian crisis in and around Kafanchan where making it difficult for the department to meet her target of 600 students. However,we where still able to graduate 456.
    For 2012, so far we have graduated 239 students and hopefully before the year runs out,we will meet the target of 600 students.

Invitation to visit

John has invited Cisco representatives to see for themselves the Academy, and the wider integrated community development programmes at Fantsuam.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.

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