By Prince Osuagwu
It took quite some efforts to get little Favour Nwaiwu, an eight year old primary four pupil of Royal Family Academy, Abuja, to pose for a good photo shot. She is not a photo freak and by no inclination into any liking for fashion shows.
All her concentration was to mesmerise with skills in dismembering and coupling back the computer system. Little wonder she is at the moment, about the youngest Microsoft Certified Professional in the whole of Africa, if not the entire world.
At first sight, little Nwaiwu looks fragile and it takes only faith to believe that this innocent toddler can even hold a screw driver tight. But all that perception immediately vanishes on seeing the little girlâ€™s prowess on a computer set.
Nwaiwu is a product of New Horizons and Microsoftâ€™s ICT Partnership training with Royal Family Academy, Abuja.
She was guided, trained and sat for the Microsoft Certified Professional examination under very good IT Teachers from New Horizons Training institute and came out one of the brightest in Africa.
In an encounter with her, the little kid told this reporter that she was so happy today, she can single handedly network systems, trouble shoot on the computer and do many other things children her age cannot even dream of.
In her tiny shy voice, she said â€œtoday I know that this certificate has set me apart from my age mates but that does not mean that my friends are not my friends. Ofcourse I am still who I am but the truth is that today, I can single handedly network systems, trouble shoot on the computer and do many other things my age mates cannot even dream ofâ€.
She has emerged the youngest Microsoft Certified Professionals â€“ (MCPsâ€™) in the area of Client End Operating system of the Microsoft business solution tool.
When Vanguard cornered the New Horizonâ€™s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Tim Akano on how his company was able to guide a little girl of eight to such feat, he said that his company decided to take its trainings to young Nigerians that are still in schools through partnership with school owners using an intensive IT training programme. â€œThe programme offers the kind of IT training that will challenge students into creativity and designing of things by themselvesâ€ he added.
He listed other private schools that have accepted the richness and intensiveness of the training package and also have produced certified ICT professionals as Doregos Academy, Queensland Academy, Jelilas, CTC private Schools and Topmost all in Lagos State and Christ Ambassador International school, in Ibadan, Oyo State.
The ICT Partnership programme he said, has produced well over 50 Microsoft Certified Professionals within the age brackets of 12 to 16 years in the last five months.
For him, in little Miss Favour Nwaiwu, New Horizons has proven that the ICT Revolution it is pioneering and the re-branding efforts of the Ministry of Information and Communications is not only workable but can yield quick, positive result.
Also speaking on the achievement of Favour Nwaiwu, an obviously elated Head Teacher of the school, Mrs. Felicia Mishelia said though the school commenced operations on Monday September 30th 2002, with an initial enrolment of 29 pupils and 17 members of staff, it has grown phenomenally to over 1005 pupils, and 154 members of staff and is poised to raise distinguished leaders for our great country Nigeria.
She added that Royal family academy has grown over the years to become one of the best schools in Abuja because the school does not only focus on the childrenâ€™s education, but also on their moral and spiritual lives..
The Microsoft Certified Professional is an internationally recognized certification programme provided by Microsoft Corporation. The examination is tailored towards building skills on Microsoft Business Solutions which focuses on Client End operating systems such as Windows XP, Vista amongst several others of its packages. With the skill acquired from this certification, Favour now stands the chance of setting off early in life with regards to ICT.
She can secure many high paying holiday jobs as System Administrators, Helpdesk Support Analyst or a System Engineer later in future as she develops her skills. Moreover, the qualification places her on a higher pedestal when compared with students her age or class.