The Directorate of Science, Technology, and Innovation (DSTI), in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Sierra Leone, has launched and officially announced the opening of 3 Digital Learning Hub locations; at Fourah Bay College (FBC), Freetown, Ernest Bai Koroma University, Makeni, and the Eastern Polytechnic in Kenema. The opening of the hubs comes as a sequel to the opening of the first hub at Institute of Public Administration and Management (IPAM) in November 2021.
The establishment of the hubs aims to address existing challenges of skills gap for young people within the workforce by providing more digital learning opportunities. It also aims to boost the acquisition and retention of in-demand skills for young people intending to enter the job market and cultivate improved learning outcomes for the current workforce.
The Learning Hub will provide a conducive workspace with free access to computers and reliable internet connection. The hub’s registered users will also have access to a wide range of digital learning content via the Learning Passport platform to help learners fully capitalise on available opportunities.
The Hub will function on a day-to-day management procedure, and operations will be facilitated by Big Bang World, an organisation with experience in the establishment, management and operation of digital learning centers.
The roll-out of these hubs is set to optimise and redefine existing notions about digital education in Sierra Leone meaningfully. The course content of this initiative is tailored to reflect a viable alternative to traditional learning methods and aligns with the broader objective of advancing the Human Capital Development Agenda of the Government of Sierra Leone and its partners.
The hub at FBC will initially have the eUPSHIFT course available, but will later feature content from HP Life and other organisations.
UNICEF Sierra Leone’s Innovation officer, Janice Williams highlighted the progress made on Digital Innovation.
“With the launch of these Digital Learning Hubs, we are making progress to deliver on UNICEF’s ReImagine Education agenda. Making digital platforms, like the Learning Passport, and digital content, such as the eUPSHIFT, available in Sierra Leone, we are taking a step towards making digital learning as one of the essential services for every child and young person.”
Echoing the promise of the hub in transforming skills acquisition and overall professional development of citizens is Vice Chancellor of USL, Professor Foday Sahr,
“We salute the efforts of DSTI and Unicef for breathing life into the aspirations of increased workforce development designed to foster job market competitiveness and reduce skills deficit. We are thrilled to host the digital learning hub and we are certain that its use will be maximised to its fullest potential” – Professor Foday Sahr.
Want to know more about the Learning Hub or how to be a member? Go to [https://www.dsti.gov.sl/portfolio/dlh/)