What it Takes to Start a Computer Training Facility

The need for computer skills in today’s world cannot be ignored. In almost every aspect of our lives, the use of computers or related devices is inevitable. Decades ago, the use of computers was regarded as a luxury and a preserve of the rich – not any more!

From basic creation of documents, entering sales in a supermarket POS, to selling items online and shopping for goods and services, the use of digital devices is everywhere. We now consume news updates and enjoy entertainment through devices that are connected to the internet. The need to learn how to use these gadgets is growing. There is a huge section of the population out there who were not fortunate enough to attend a computer class in primary or secondary school. This gap can be filled by us, the teachers of ICT.

So, what does this mean for a teacher of ICT? In one of my articles that I wrote on this very website, I shared about 10 business ideas a teacher of ICT can start. Number 8 on my list was a school, a computer training school to be exact. In fact, one of our colleagues, Mr. Sseguya Derrick (In photo below) went on to start his own school called Alick Digital Computing in Kayunga.

I started offering computer lessons to my community in Nabbingo in 2007 which slowly evolved into what we now have as E-zone School of Computing. I am proud that my very first student, Sulaiman Hussein Luzzi is also now a qualified teacher of ICT at Trinity College Nabbingo.

As human beings, there is never enough we can get from our bosses to satisfy all our needs. While some may opt for part timing, authoring books or starting a stationery business, we also have the option to start our own computer training centeres like Sseguya Derrick and I did. These are a good option to help us complement our salaries and also as a retirement plan.

So, what does it take to start?

To many, the thought of starting a school means having a lot of money for land, buildings and salaries for staff. While this may be the ideal dream, it is good to know that you can start small. You don’t need a mega structure and a fat account to start offering computer lessons. In the following paragraphs, I will point out a few things that you need to start a basic school.

1. Computers, even one.

Yes, 1 computer can start a school. The first days when you start are sally slow. No one knows about your classes and those that are coming are most likely interested in iquiring about your classes. Like many businesses, the numbers only incraese with time. So, 1 computer, if that is what you can afford, can get you started. I say this from experience, at E-zone School of Computing, we had 1 computer which I would use for lessons and at the same time for secretarial work.

Looking back, I only thank the patience of my students whose lessons I kept interuppting when I neded to attend to a client. Offcourse I compensated for this with longer and flexible training sessions.

The number of computers to start with depends on your budget but a 5 user lab is a good start for many. This gives you room to study the market and adjust accordingly as the numbers grow. In the picture below, you can see 5 students of E-zone School in our computer lab powerd by Ncomputing.

2. Desks and seats

The computers will definitely have to be placed on a firm desk or table. Ensure that these desks give enough room for the system unit, the monitor, keyboard and enough space for a beginner’s hand to navigate with the mouse. Offcourse, your students and you need to have comfortable chairs on which to sit.

Many schools I have visited use stools. This I guess is because they take up less space. But for a more comfortable experience for your back, especially if you intend to have long hours seated, a standard chair with a back rest is better. These save you and your students indirect stress on your back and result into other health issues later.