The Digital Technology Space in Kenya has massively grown, yet there is a huge un-met demand for basic digital services in rural areas largely owing to inadequate digital skills among the people. The Agriculture sector is a no-go zone area too; only 11% youth show interest in it. Through our After School Program, youth (15-19 years) in rural high schools are equipped with technical Digital and Agribusiness skills, after which they join our On-the-Job Learning Program at TAP Digital Centers.
Teens for Employability and Entrepreneurship Project (TEEP) through digital and agribusiness skills development in Africa.
What problem are you trying to solve?
We are trying to solve the systemic causes of Youth Unemployment in Kenya. About 80% of Kenya’s entire 49million population is below 35years. According to a 2016 report by the Aga Khan University, over 55% of these are unemployed, 62% of them being women, and 68% being women in rural areas.
The key contributor to this crisis is Kenya’s the Education system, which emphasis on passing in Theoretical subjects rather than acquisition of skills. While the high school curriculum offers courses like computer & agriculture studies, it caters for theory with very little or no practical skills.
After graduating, students have to enrol in a digital skills programs, which thousands of rural youth cannot afford to pay thereby leaving many digitally illiterate despite the surge in demand for Digital Services. Such a youth’s chances of continuing with Tertiary education decrease due to lack of information which would otherwise be readily available online.
What is your solution to this problem?
The TEEP Project comprises of an After-School Program, which engages both girls and boys in high school level. Beneficiaries are equipped with technical Digital and Agribusiness skills, through school-based and community-based learning workshops and activities. The After-School Program is implemented in 2 Phases, Phase 1 being the Digital Skills Training. Graduates from the After-School Program then join TAP Africa Digital Centers and selected partner Agribusiness Centers/Farms, for the On-the-Job Learning Program. Here, they put their new technical skills to practice. In addition, they acquire important employability and entrepreneurship skills. Young People also benefit from complementary workshops on Financial Literacy, Customer Service, Marketing, Resume writing and Interviewing processes among others.
By engaging the beneficiaries in working at the Digital Centers to offer Digital Services to the Public. We ensure that we generate income to run the center.
What is your latest update on your innovation?
Currently, Phase 1 Pilot of the project is underway at Hon. Kiragu Secondary School, in Kirinyaga County. Young people (15-19 years) are encountering computers, learning how to assemble and start it off for the very first time. For them, it is a rare privilege that they are enrolled in this program to learn computer skills for Free, because they know too well, as the Principal says “Their parents may never be able to enrol them in such a program.” .As the School Principal, Mr. Mwaniki buys new computers for the After-School Program, he talks about his commitment towards this initiative.
In addition, we have developed a comprehensive Digital Skills Curriculum. Participants are currently being trained on; introduction to Basic Computer aspects, Word processing Applications, PowerPoint Presentation, Spreadsheet Application, Speed Typing, and Internet skills among others.