Friday, February 12, 2016

The Importance Of ICT To The NYSC Scheme

   
   
This article was written by Wisdom Obioha during my NYSC service year (2014/2015) and it was published on the yearly NYSC magazine Zamfara State Chapter (page 15 & 16).
I believe it will be of importance to prospective corps members and the serving Otondos.

Information Communication Technology (ICT) is simply the study of the technology used to handle information and communication; it encompasses broadcast media, transmission systems, intelligent building and of course audiovisual processing as applied in telecasting.

Information Communication Technology has in recent times changed and affected virtually all sectors of human activities worldwide both positively and negatively but the positive impact of ICT in the world today cannot be overemphasized. That is why the world is now referred to as a global village.

But how is the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme benefiting or gaining from the wonders that ICT brings to us? Well, since the establishment of the NYSC scheme in May, 1973, the computation and processing of corps members data was done in anolog and semi-digital form which made the scheme lag behind in few areas. However, in 2014 the scheme led by its Director General, Brigadier  General Johnson Bamidele Olawunmi commenced the course of shifting the entire process to full-time digital starting with the online mobilization of the 2014 Batch C corps members.

Hence, the full implementation of ICT in 2014 made things much easier for hitherto prospective corps members as they had the option to either collect their call-up letters directly from the school they graduated from or go online and print it at the official NYSC website (www.nysc.org.ng). It was a great relief for prospective corps members who were not residing in the state they graduated.

It is also worthy to note that compulsory online registration for corps started the same year, 2014. At the NYSC online portal, prospective corps members were required to fill their details, thumb print, and upload a recent passport photograph. Once these are done, the corps member will have his or her own dashboard at the NYSC online portal where he can now easily print out the call up letter from any location in the world and avoid the stress, time and risk of travelling to collect it from the school.

Secondly, Information and Communication  Technology (ICT) have made it very much convenient for corps members , NYSC staff and the general public to pick up first hand information on all NYSC activities nationwide with the use of social media platforms like facebook, twitter, some academic blogs and of course the official NYSC website.
For instance, in my own experience, i discovered that the official twitter account which is www.twitter.com/nysc_ng is the most active and lively platform where you can meet with top officials and table your request or opinion before them and you get immediate response. That's great.

Recently, the scheme launched a user friendly mobile application which can be downloaded on Android, Blackberry and Windows phones platform at the moment. The Director, Brig.Gen. Olawunmi said "the introduction of the mobile application is a tool for information dissemination that will fast track easy link between the scheme and the public" He continued "the mobile app will enable corps members communicate among themselves and officers of the scheme using their mobile phones".

With the app, information like the service guide, bye laws, security tips, health tips, distress issues, chatting platform, language lessons and service news among others will be in each corps members pocket.

In addition to the aforementioned and stated importance and contribution of ICT in the NYSC scheme, ICT has transformed the scheme tremendously through broadcast media like the radio and television broadcasting systems. Radio programs like Corpers Forum is aired weekly in all the states of the Federation including FCT Abuja. The Corpers Forum is an NYSC radio program that is aired to basically disseminate information and enlighten the general public about the NYSC scheme. Audiovisual broadcasting is not left behind as some major Television broadcasting stations occasionally cover some activities of the NYSC and broadcast them, in so doing, the entire public get accustomed to the scheme, its activities, and what it is all about.

Having said these, the combined importance of ICT to the NYSC scheme is really a clarion acceptance of digital technology for better service.

Written By Wisdom Obioha
NYSC Annual Magazine
Zamfara Kofa 2015
Pages 15 and 16    

   
   
   
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