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Report on Oracode 3.0 with Oracle Academy

Oracode

Report on Oracode 3.0 with Oracle Academy

We recently keyed into the Oracle Academy initiative which is intended to grow the number of Youths in the field of Information Technology. Under the code name Oracode 3.0, we gathered undergraduates and provided them with requisite training to hone their skills and tilt the odds in their favour in this age of digitization.

The name Oracode 3.0 was adopted after a series of meetings with the Oracle Academy and a brainstorming session to drive awareness. We thought it would help with driving engagement, based on lessons learned from our previous training with Oracle Academy. It was largely favoured over other names several factors: memorability, how it lends itself to easy mind recall and most importantly, because it would aid our promotional efforts targeted at undergraduates.

We wanted as many students as possible to benefit from the training so we billed it for August when most of the students were home on break from school. To ensure that information regarding the training was widely circulated, we made posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram inviting students to register for the training, registration for the event was on Eventbrite.

The training commenced on the 14th of August, after the Muslim Holiday. This was to give the Muslim faithfuls who had registered the opportunity to be part of the training which focused on Java Fundamentals, Database Foundation and Introduction to Data Science.  The selection criteria was based on information curated from the Eventbrite registration

The Campaign

Social media was utilized as the main campaign channel to create awareness of Oracode 3.0 as well as drive traffic to our website and social media platforms where information regarding the training was posted. We made use of our existing database of undergraduates, the President of the Nigerian Association of Computer Science Students, NACOSS was of immense support in reaching out to students on a more experiential level.

Our pre campaign communication materials comprised of creative contents approved by the Oracle Academy which we posted to all TWYI Social Media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram). to further bolster visibility, we sponsored several of the posts, thereby increasing their audience reach. For added support and credibility, we posted pictures from ongoing sessions and encouraged participants to share their experience online with the hashtags #oracode #oracleacdemy.

Training Session

We had a cap of 25 students per class and as a result held two training sessions daily: 9 am to 12:30 pm and 1 pm to 4:30, with two trainers. Meals were served to the students and facilitators during a 20 minute break.

Week 1:

  • Registration and confirmation of students
  • Talk on Orientation, technology, career and the future
  • Talk on Java and the enterprise market
  • Introduction to Java Programming
  • Use of Oracle iLearning Platform
  • Class project on Java

    Week 2:

    Training on presentation
    Database training
    Visit of Oracle represented
    Introduction not data science
    Completion of Group Project
    Graduation at Oracle Academy

    Challenges

    • More people registered in the last two days before the program than at any other time, which made the selection process more difficult.
    • Lack of constant electricity and internet at home were the feedback we got from students as an excuse to complete their class projects. We had to provide power after class for most of the students to complete their homework before going home. It was a very stressful two weeks for the participants.
    • Some student who indicated interest also needed accommodation which we couldn’t provide; there are a lot more students who are interested in gaining this knowledge but have no access.
    • About 40% of applicants were graduates who were ready to do anything even pay to join the training.
    • Access to iLearning was challenging as it was always locking students out, especially the database access.

    Lessons Learned

    • Early preparations to get more universities involved.
    • Work with University Heads of Department to generate more interest and impact.
    • Add soft skills training, such as Presentation skills to the curriculum to create adequate preparation for the workplace.
    • Extend the training duration from 2 weeks to 3 weeks to reduce the pressure on the students.

    Recommendations        

    During the registration process, we had several requests from other locations like Abuja and Port Harcourt, we will like to partner with a training facility in any of those states to execute Oracode.

    Conclusion:

    The Oracode3.0 initiative was indeed a laudable project. The impact on the students was clear – the team work, critical thinking and ability to implement simple projects within a short time. This project validated the fact that when young people have access to the right tools in a conducive environment, they are challenged, able to rise up and excel. Also, the students were from a mixed background – computer science, engineering, agro-sciences, economics etc. Yet they all displayed a natural intuition for coding and database skills.

    We recommend that this type of program should be scaled up and done more frequently so that as many students as possible can have the opportunity and will be ready for the workplace and impact their community and the world positively.   

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