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NITDA hails NBTE for unbundling Computer Science programme

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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has commended the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) for unbundling the Higher National Diploma (HND) in Computer Science Programme.

Mrs Hadiza Umar, Head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations, NITDA, said in a statement issued on Sunday in Abuja that the plan was to unbundle Computer Science into four specialisations.

Umar said that the four specialisations are Artificial Intelligence, Network & Cloud Computing, Software & Web Development, and Cybersecurity & Data Protection.

“This visionary move is not just a game-changer in Nigeria’s Information Technology (IT) sector, it represents a seismic shift in equipping Nigerian graduates with in-demand skills crucial for navigating the digital revolution.

“This development positions polytechnics at the centre of nurturing young Nigerians capable of tackling specific challenges and capitalising on the vast opportunities presented by emerging technologies,” she said.

According to Umar, NITDA views this as a significant step in promoting the growth of the IT sector and enhancing the capabilities of the nation’s workforce.

She added that the measure would bridge the skills gaps identified during the agency’s IT Skills Gap Assessment conducted in partnership with CC Hub.

She recalled that the assessment highlighted 12 IT skills in high demand, both in Nigeria and globally.

“NITDA recognises the immense potential of Artificial Intelligence, Network and Cloud Computing, Software and Web Development, as well as Cybersecurity and Data Protection in shaping the future of Nigeria’s IT sector.

“This is why it established the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR) and the Office for Nigerian Digital Innovation (ONDI).

“These are special-purpose vehicles to nurture talents, equip interns and corps members with the requisite skills to excel in their digital journey,” she said

Umar quoted Mr Kashifu Inuwa, the Director-General, NITDA, as always emphasising the need for collaboration between educational institutions, industry stakeholders, and regulatory bodies to ensure the successful implementation of these specialised fields.

“NITDA extends its gratitude to the NBTE for its vision and commitment to advancing technical education in Nigeria.

“It encourages a paradigm shift in educational approaches, hence the need for institutions to proactively incorporate elements of digital literacy into their curriculum structures.

“The agency believes that embracing the National Digital Literacy Framework (NDLF) would serve as a transformative step towards ensuring that the Nigerian educational system remains at the forefront of technological innovation.

“It will help equip students with the competencies needed for success in the modern world,” Umar said.

The official noted that NITDA looked forward to continued collaboration to create an environment where Nigerian IT professionals could thrive and make significant contributions to the global digital economy.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Prof. Idris Bugaje, the Executive Director, NBTE, had announced the unbundling of Computer Science programmes on Jan. 8 in a letter addressed to all heads of Polytechnics and relevant institutions.

The floating of the four courses, Bugaje said, was for the institutions to be in line with emerging trends in the IT sector.

According to the letter, students who have already been admitted into the former Computer Science programme will be phased out in 2025.

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