ABUJA -NIGERIA, Africa’s most populous country and biggest economy, has endorsed an award-winning digital literacy initiative aimed at bridging the digital and gender skills gap in the continent.
Through the scheme called Africa Code Week (ACW), an initiative of SAP, Africa’s young generation is empowered with the coding skills they need to thrive in the 21st century.
In north central Nigeria, over 450 teachers from public and private schools have received training through the Train-the-Trainer (TTT) workshop session organised as part of ACW 2017.
ACW network partner, Coderina, in collaboration with the Federal Capital Territory, the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools, State Universal Basic Education Board, the Universal Basic Education Commission and Education Resource Centre, coordinated the event.
A few weeks after 210 participants were trained in Akure, the recent event empowered more Nigerian teachers and volunteers with the teaching tools and coding skills they need to host coding workshops during ACW 2017 (October 18-25).
Claire Gillissen-Duval, Director of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Corporate Social Responsibility at SAP and Africa Code Week Global Lead, welcomed Nigeria’s support through active government involvement and widely-attended TTT workshops.
There have been over 650 workshops so far.
Underlining the power of public-private partnerships in the digital age, Gillissen-Duval also noted that TTTs created a close-knit community between people.
“If we can create and strengthen these connections between young people, teachers, scientists, entrepreneurs, universities, business leaders and
state representatives, then we are building more than a network: we are building a solid support system that’s growing steadily and organically,” she said.
ACW was initially launched in 2015 as part of SAP Africa’s commitment to driving sustainable growth and skills development on the African continent.
The 2017 edition of Africa Code Week will provide thousands of free coding workshops for 500 000 youth across 35 countries.
This is in partnership with United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural organisation YouthMobile, Google, Cape Town Science Centre, Galway Education Centre, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), 14 African governments and over 100 partners.
Older learners (aged 18-24) will be provided with a basic understanding of a website architecture, teaching them how to develop a fully operational and mobile-friendly website.
Learners aged 8-17 will learn to programme their own animations using Scratch, an open-source teaching platform developed by the MIT Media Lab.
“Scratch is the most advanced, user-friendly and collaborative teaching tool out there. Beyond coding, math and geometry, it empowers children with core 21st century skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, team work, creative thinking and so much more,” Gillissen-Duval explained.
The Harvard Graduate School of Education and thousands of like-minded educators actively support Scratch.
With an estimated population of over 190 million, Nigeria is Africa’s most populous nation. Its gross domestic product (GDP) of more than US$405 billion makes it the continent’s largest economy.
– CAJ News