Technology advancement

Integrating coding into school curricula will spur innovations and technological advancements in Nigeria – Experts

Education technology experts have urged Nigerian policy makers to integrate learning to code into the school curriculum at primary and secondary levels to enhance technological advancements and innovations in the country.

This was the result of the July edition of Edtech Monday’s virtual panel discussion moderated by social engineering practitioner, Joyce Daniel, which included panelists such as STEMi Africa Managing Director, Amanda Obidike; Founder, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence of Nigeria, Dr Olusola Ayoola and 7-year-old student Amanda Okocha.

Speaking at the panel discussion themed “Coding for Learners in Africa,” Obidike noted that although coding is new to Nigeria, it has become imperative that coding be included in the school curriculum given the fact that the future would be largely driven by technology, automation and artificial intelligence. According to her, with increasing digitization and advancements in technology, there is a need for every state in Nigeria to invest in coding.

While identifying data infrastructure as a major drawback that could impede learning to code in schools, she noted that with effective collaborations with technology-focused organizations and mentoring, the problem of infrastructure and interest in coding would be resolved.

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“Much remains to be done in the area of ​​teacher reform. Additionally, learning to code should be made more inclusive so that young girls can easily be connected to resources and gain the confidence they need. Statistics have shown that 30.5% of young women in Africa are unemployed due to lack of STEM related skills. But with the right mentorship and resources, the narrative would be changed,” she said.

For his part, Ayoola explained that coding is the key to 21st century learning and development, saying that any country that fails to benefit from its introduction to young learners can damage its future.

He pointed out that beyond infrastructure, funding and the knowledge gap between teachers and developers are serious barriers to mainstreaming coding in schools, although he urged the government to providing access to devices and investing in ICT rooms for schools in Nigeria.

He further asked stakeholders to be intentional in bringing coding to the grassroots, especially underserved communities.

Also speaking, Okocha, who started learning to code at the age of 5, explained that the impact of coding on his upbringing has been quite huge, revealing that the wealth of knowledge gained so far has made him helped to develop solutions to solve a particular problem.

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Integrating coding into school curricula will spur innovations and technological advancements in Nigeria – Experts

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Integrating coding into school curricula will spur innovations and technological advancements in Nigeria – Experts