The scramble for the 500,000 direct teaching jobs scheme announced by the Federal Government on June 6, this year, has begun. More than 35 million applicants hit the Federal Government’s social investment teaching job website “N-Power. gov.ng” within 36 hours of the announcement. The website was opened on June 12. Out of this number, 400,000 applicants successfully applied for the teaching jobs on-line by midday of June 13.
Afolabi Imoukhede, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation, in a statement said “we are very impressed by the enthusiastic response to the call for applications. As at noon on Monday June 13, only 36 hours after the launch of the portal, 403,528 applicants had successfully registered on the site and were in the middle of completing the application process.” Screening and shortlisting of successful applicants would commence immediately after the online application.
The jobs scheme, known as ‘N-Power’, is one of the five initiatives of the Social Investment Programmes (SIP), for which the Federal Government has allocated N500billion in the 2016 budget. The N-Power is designed to help the youths acquire and develop life-long skills to become solution providers in their communities and players in the domestic and global markets.
It is expected to provide employment opportunities for 500,000 graduates as teachers, agriculture extension advisers, healthcare assistants, as well as civic and adult education instructors in communities across Nigeria. The SIP would also assemble a pool of 100,000 software developers, hardware service professionals, animators, graphic artists, building services professionals, artisans among others.
Imoukhede assured that the application process would be structurally robust, transparent and fair. The selection process would also be based on objective criteria that has nothing to do with party affiliations. “Unemployed Nigerians, both graduates and non-graduates, would be drawn from across the country on state by state basis in the final analysis,” he added.
Trainees under the SIP would be paid for the duration of their training. Through the N-Power Teacher Corps scheme, 500,000 young unemployed graduates would be recruited, trained and paid under a volunteer programme of a two-year duration. “Unemployed Nigerians selected and trained will provide teaching, instructional, and advisory roles in primary and secondary schools, agricultural extension systems, public health and community education-covering civic and adult education across the country.
Apart from their monthly take-home pay of N23,000, the selected 500,000 graduates will also get computer devices that will contain information necessary for their specific assignments and continuous training and development. They are expected to retain these devices at the completion of the programme.
The N-Power Teacher Corps programme would provide an invaluable opportunity for Nigerian youths to make immense economic and social contributions to the nation while developing their skills. It will also help to address the problems of inadequate teachers in public schools.
Also, those enlisted under the scheme would enjoy the benefits of gaining work experience and acquiring key competency under the scheme’s academic and non-academic capacity building programmes that would make them competitive in the workplace. Their devices will come loaded with knowledge-oriented applications and software that will enable them acquire the skills and capacity.
No fewer than 25,000 youths are expected to be trained under the N-Power Knowledge scheme, which has three main aspects — creative, technology software and hardware. Out of this number, 5,000 participants would be trained in animation, graphic design, post-production and script-writing.
The N-Power Knowledge scheme equally has a technology category in two aspects: hardware and software. About 10,000 Nigerians would be trained and equipped in the area of software development and web site designing while another 10,000 would acquire expertise in hardware repair, maintenance and on how to assemble mobile phones, tablets, computers and other devices.
Furthermore, the N-Power Build category was designed to ensure a well-trained and highly skilled youth population in the economy which would have direct impact on entrepreneurship/wealth creation, and in turn lead to a decline in unemployment.
N-Power Build is therefore an accelerated training and certification (Skills to Job/Enterprise) programme that will engage and train 75,000 unemployed youths to build a new crop of skilled and highly competent workforce of technicians, artisans and service professionals.
By Dike Onwuamaeze