KIGALI – On June 13th, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) launched a 17.2 billion Rwandan Franc initiative, called Huguka Dukore, to train 40,000 Rwandan youth in workforce readiness skills by 2021.
USAID hosted a launch event for Huguka Dukore at the Kimisagara Youth Empowerment for Global Opportunities (YEGO) Center in Kigali, Rwanda. Attendees included Government of Rwanda ministers, the United States Ambassador to Rwanda, the Mission Director of USAID/Rwanda, and partners from the education, business, and private sectors.
Huguka Dukore, which means “Get Trained and Let’s Work!” in Kinyarwanda, targets Rwandan youth 16 to 30 years old who have between six and nine years of basic education. Huguka Dukore will connect its over 40,000 participants with relevant job skills training, so they can find stable employment, start their own small businesses, or pursue further education.
The training provided by Huguka Dukore includes work-based learning and internship opportunities, links to jobs and self-employment, entrepreneurship training and coaching, and access to financing, family planning, and reproductive health services. Hukuka Dukore will be implemented by the Education Development Center (EDC) over five years.
At the launch event, the U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda Erica Barks-Ruggles emphasized the importance the U.S. government places on partnering with Rwanda to ensure its youth have the opportunity and skills needed to drive economic development and build their future. She stressed the importance of partnering with the private sector and civil society to accomplish the goals of the program. “We are here today to embark on this partnership because we recognize the importance of youth in the future of Rwanda’s continued prosperity,” she said. “Together we can achieve our ambitious targets and reach our goal of a strong, vibrant and flourishing Rwanda for many years to come!”
The Minister of State in charge of Technical and Vocational Education and Training, Olivier Rwamukwaya, was the guest of Honor at the Launch. He emphasized the importance of this program in contributing to Rwanda’s development goals, particularly the “Made in Rwanda” policy and the National Employment Program’s goal of creating at least 200,000 jobs per year.
The launch event was preceded by a miniature exposition of Huguka Dukore’s activities, vision, and goals. Rwandan youth expressed their aspirations and expectations from Huguka Dukore, particularly their hope to be linked further training, coaching, and employment opportunities in Huguka Dukore’s growing network of partners.
After completing this exciting learning journey at Beni American University online, I am glad to share with you, my classmates and as part of final exam, the benefits from a 12 weeks class full of new skills, knowledge, interactions, and networking which without doubt will boost my career and personal development as a journalist and budding digital entrepreneur.
Actually, the whole course content is valuable to my career that’s why it is challenging to summarize what I kept in my mind via this blog post but I will do my best to shed the light on digital journalism lessons learned and new skills acquired.
The class started in style with ‘Journalism entrepreneurship’ an interesting subject for aspiring entrepreneurs .The lecturer explained types of enterprises and other topics but the key message for me was about taking calculated risk. As a budding business person this, reminded me that before starting any project or business I should analyze carefully the benefits, market opportunities in other words I care about profits which is my goal and dare to start.
I must admit that in addition to other lessons on entrepreneurship this topic helped me a lot as an aspiring entrepreneur: I recently applied for a digital media grant in my country where I used skills gained on’ revenue and marketing’ and ‘idea to implementation’, this was useful in writing my business proposal especially on my business model section.
“Transmedia storytelling’ is another s module that discusses mostly visual storytelling and digital multimedia reporting. This is very important for content creators in the sense that we learned new creative ways to use video for storytelling in the digital age.
As traditional media are embracing technology to tell stories and build online audience, the lesson titled’New beats in the digital age’ was very enriching in the sense that I learned how I can use crowdsource , online tools, practices for effective news gathering and reporting .
Nowadays social media and online entrepreneurship goes together. Social media marketing, public relation is a perfect strategy to grow business and career development for professional’s .The module titled ‘social media for public relations’ was very important to me in my journalism career and my entrepreneurship journey.
The 5 practical module discusses enables me to use social media campaign effectively to market my work or business online. It will help me to build a wide audience create my product awareness, interacting with customers and best PR practices using Internet.
I have been using social media for personal branding for quite a long time but the related course material and assignment have been most valuable as it helped me to improve my online identity profile following a social media audit I have done in my assignment.
I did my best to set myself apart online and will keep on reading my learning materials to improve my personal branding campaign.
Blogging has been my passion for about 5 years; the lesson titled’ Strategic Blogging’ has been my favorite on’ blogging for business ‘module. It helped me understand how I can source content; define my content of coverage topic. Planning my content plays a key part in my professional or business related blogging. It is very crucial as it will impact my online campaign for any issue or product.
As a blogger the lesson will also help improve my current blog by creating content that matters most to my clients and audience especially promoting products and services using Internet.
This online course is a major career boost as it helps me to shape my future by making it better and taking it to higher professional level.
The time spent at BAU online was not only enriching in terms of course content but also the learning system was also excellent: for instance the forums which were a good time to discuss topic covered and exchange ideas.
However, I expected to see more interactions with our instructor during our discussions for instance replying to some of our comments. It seems the course was focused on reading module materials rather than engaging students.
I don’t mean that the course instructor has not interacted with students. I acknowledge that he replied to our questions. My point is we should have seen more participation or moderation.
My learning experience was also a great opportunity for networking with like-minded people from across Africa.I followed many of them on tweeter and will keep in touch with others. That is why I kindly request their email addresses.
I also enjoyed our tweeter conversations especially on course topics.
I must admit that my connection and active interaction with Pamela Bongkyung is result of t networking part of the course. We have been interacting actively and even exchanged some work related opportunities (story ideas or newsworthy events for coverage).It was really a great and fruitful professional exchange. I hope to keep in touch with other classmates or Alumni after completing the digital journalism course.
To sum up, the digital journalism program was exciting and valuable for life learners as we gained critical and marketable skills in online media, a field that is ever growing. Without doubt it will boost career development, builds professional portfolios for some and plays a key part in achieving entrepreneurship dreams for others.
As technology continues to become integrated into every aspect of the human experience, some debate exists over the ever-growing expansion of online schooling opportunities. Today’s guest post by education writer Linda Zabriske touches on this debate and outlines the benefits, particularly for those in developing nations where traditional learning environments are more difficult to come by.
Online universities are making education more democratic and open than ever before as they not only provide resources for graduate level coursework and research for those looking to expand skill sets, but they deliver them to a wider array of students. For those in the US and other developed nations, this means that there are fewer obstacles in the way of achieving one’s goals, but for those in developing nations, online resources can save lives and dramatically improve the quality of life for entire communities. Not only has online education made learning more convenient, it has opened up the academic world to millions.
Still, many are not convinced that the shift is for the better. While information is being broadcast into the furthest reaches of the globe, is it possible that the overall quality or value of education will suffer? Are we losing the intellectualism that has served as the foundation of education for centuries.
A survey of more than 10,700 faculty members at public colleges and universities found that 70% of all faculty members believe the learning outcomes of online courses to be inferior to face-to-face instruction. Even still, online education has continued to grow rapidly, both with wholly online schools and with courses offered at prestigious traditional universities. Many professors judge online education with a different set of criteria. “The access issue trumps everything else,” according to education researcher Jeff Seaman. “The ability to get somebody in a course that they would not ordinarily be able to take, to finish that degree, to pursue that career, to do whatever, is sufficient.”
Online education is viewed as a means for students to garner marketable skills, but there may be a trade-off, particularly for students who might otherwise attend traditional institutions. Students may miss out on the opportunities to dabble in courses and disciplines that they would otherwise never experience. Liberal arts requirements are a staple of most esteemed universities. Courses on, for instance, classical music, Latin, or astronomy are the sort of requirements that are largely stripped away in online learning venues. Granted, none of these are going to offer much in the way of easily marketable job skills, but isn’t there value that employers do not ostensibly measure?
In addition, the experience of learning through social interactions with peers and faculty are greatly diminished when the focus is so specifically tailored to specific job descriptions.
While these are valid concerns, many still suggest the benefits offered by online resources to those in poor undeveloped nations far outweigh any downsides. In Rwanda, for instance, where no more than 5% of the adult population achieved secondary education through 1996, technological innovations have lead to enhanced collaboration and social-learning opportunities for students. Today, there are multiple options for online education scholarships designed strictly for students in developing nations, making education online even less of a burden. Especially in these developing nations, the rewards appear to far outweigh the investment, and Rwanda’s government has even taken notice, funding programs designed to bring laptops to grade-school children and digital learning materials to improve primary school teaching.
While the benefits of online education seem most obvious at the grade-school level in underprivileged areas, research from the US Dept. of Education found that it was college students who showed the greatest improvement when enrolled online, further muddying the debate. Online education is undoubtedly useful, and it’s prevalence worldwide will certainly be an asset to our most troubled regions, but online education clearly misses the mark on some less quantifiable benefits. Traditional campuses offer life experience and cultural diversity. Whether online education will be able to offer similar benefits remains to be seen.
The author is currently a staff writer for www.OnlineGraduatePrograms.com, a detailed resource for finding online graduate programs and other important information regarding the online schooling experience.