By Martin Ekpeke
The Executive Council Members of the National Association of Computer Science Students (NACOSS), have sealed a mentorship deal with Programos Foundation, the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of Programos Software Group.
The agreement was sealed today when NACOSS executives paid a courtesy visit to the company’s corporate headquarters in Lagos.
Speaking on the choice of Programos Foundation, Comrade Okoro Emeka Louis, the National Public Relations officer of NACOSS said Programos Foundation was deliberately chosen because of its antecedent of moulding the youths for the future challenges, especially in the area of software design and development.
He posited that Programos, a 100 percent indigenous software design, development and maintenance company has through the Foundation moulded some Nigerians, who are presently doing well as entrepreneurs and can compete favourably among their peers from any part of the world.
“We have recognised what Programos through its Foundation has been doing across Nigeria, developing the idea of youth empowerment in Nigeria. This directly deals with our own discipline, so we have decided to partner with Programos so that as students we can develop ourselves even while in school,” he said.
Loius added that the partnership with a company like Programos will ostensibly help students who are studying Computer Science and other related courses to prepare themselves for the challenges that would come their way in the future.
Commenting, the President of Programos Foundation, Mr. Emmanuel Amos said the Foundation is honoured to have been chosen by NACOSS, disclosing that the Foundation has been involved with numerous capacity development programmes for the jobless Nigerian graduates/undergraduates in the last 20 years. The foundation who has now fully developed ICT4SIDs partnership with United Nations agencies on smart hubs for rapid implementation of sustainable development goals in Nigeria, currently oversees an African digital policy think tank for the Global Digital Foundation www.globaldigitalfoundation.org/secretariat/ and have identified the need for an expanded youth education in digital policy so they can become more inclusive in policymaking process.
“Programos Foundation as a not-for-profit, civil society company is honoured to have NACOSS as our partner. We are committed towards building capacity for Nigerian graduates and undergraduates,” he assured.
He highlighted some of the Foundation’s programmes that will immensely benefit NACOSS. They include SiDO.Varsity, a scheme that offers modern software development skills education to both ICT and NON-ICT students while in the Universities, Polytechnics and other institutions, explaining that the initiative gives answers to undergraduates’ questions like “AFTER SCHOOL WHAT NEXT?”.
Others are SiDO.Siwes that was created to complement the filling of the gap now yawning between undergraduates and the benefits of out-of-school and office practice exposures of the Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme. And lastly, SiDO.Grad, which is the Programos Foundation’s flagship initiative that empowers unemployed graduates of diverse disciplines from tertiary institutions. He said the initiative is targeted at making the beneficiaries discover their areas of specialization depending on their first degree, or prior experiences for the possibility of encouraging the formation of SMEs which will offer Information Technology Enabled Services to industries and public sector space.