Youth from non-formal settlements of Nairobi face significant educational challenges: they often come from low-income families who lack finances to educate them beyond secondary school this is combined with experience in a knowledge-based education that hasn’t prepared them for employment. Nairobits seeks to address this problem by providing free ICT Multimedia training courses which build both technical and entrepreneurial skills for vulnerable youth thus increasing their value in the job market.
Nairobits ICT Multimedia training is offered to out-of-school youth who show potential and motivation by being engaged in community work through community based organizations. The CBOs serve as partners and recruitment points for NairoBits. Since initiation in 2000, the course has grown from 4 students to over 700 applicants. Demand is high, and places are allocated depending upon resources available. NairoBits operates from 7 centers in informal settlements in Nairobi, each equipped with computers.
NairoBits ICT courses are implemented in four progressive levels and are accreditated by Netherlands-based ROC A12 and ECABO:
- Course I: Basic computer skills
- Course 2: Internet research skills
- Course 3: Website design
- Media Lab: Business incubation class
Students attend full time and duration varies from 2 months – 6 months depending upon the course level. The courses are repeated throughout the year to cater to demand.
What sets NairoBits apart is the practical approach to the courses; students learn through project work and interaction with real clients. By working in partnership with local ICT businesses, NairoBits have been able to design the courses around specific skills demanded at varying levels in the industry. The practical, employment-ready approach is built upon by developing students’ soft skills and characteristics such as personal confidence, self-esteem, and general life skills.
Upon completion graduates are linked to internship and employment opportunities in ICT related companies. As a result of this, Nairobits has a high success rate in placing trainees in jobs after only one year of training. Students are encouraged to put back into the system with a strong alumni and many taking on training roles at NairoBits.
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CEI approaches in actionDeliveryChains or Networks of schools/centersStudent support21st century skills (soft skills)Entrepreneurship skills
Model details2000Not-for-profitInformation and Communications Technology (ICT)21st century skills (soft skills)Entrepreneurship skillsActiveLong-term projectFree service or product
BeneficiariesOut-of-school childrenOrphans and vulnerable children
Nairobits targets youth from informal settlements who cannot afford tertiary education but show potential and motivation by engaging themselves in community work through community based organizations. Nairobits reach them through connecting with the CBOs in informal settlements around Nairobi.
TechnologyComputerClassroom lesson deliveryLearning materials for students32 reputable web design companies in Kenya for insight in training curriculum development, offering internship/employment placement of graduates after ICT multimedia training. Some of the partner companies include, Techno Brain, Dream fish, Dot savvy, Ke
- Nairobits began with 2 centres in Nairobi, and now runs 7 centres across informal settlements in Nairobi
- Initially started with 4 pupils enrolled on one course, now served over 7000 learners with 4 levels of course
- The Naiorbits concept has been adapted to other contexts, including Addisbits in Ethiopia, Zanzibits in Tanzania, Kampabits in Uganda
- An expansion to Machakos, a town southeast of Nairobi, is planned.
- Enrollment rates are high, and with increased resources Nairobits will be able to cater to more pupils.
Monitoring & EvaluationYes
- Pupil’s learning is evaluated throughout the course using a portfolio of work including projects and performance in practical tasks.
- Nairobits measure employment rates of their students after completing the courses.