More schools step up coding lessons to include all grades

The coding syllabus was approved by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) last year. [iStockphoto]

Education stakeholders have affirmed their commitment to adopt coding as a subject of study from the elementary level.

The uptake has been rising since the approval and launch of the syllabus for primary and secondary schools last year.

Coding is the process of converting human intentions into commands that computers can comprehend. The lessons are presented to learners through an interactive online studio.

The coding syllabus was approved by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) last year.

This week, Graceland Schools in Nyahururu became the first private school in Kenya to fully deploy coding lessons for all grades starting this month.

Grace Mwaura, the school's director, told The Standard that adding coding syllabus to the curriculum "is a milestone for the school since it will enhance students' technological skills and put them on the right trajectory in the ever-growing world of technology."

"We are proud to announce the full deployment of the approved coding lessons for all grades, starting January 2023. This marks a significant milestone for the school, as it becomes the first private school in Kenya to comprehensively implement the coding curriculum," said Ms Mwaura.

Ms Mwaura further commended the government for approving the teaching of coding saying it is the basis of a vibrant digital economy.

"We are thrilled to be leading the way in Kenya's education system by fully embracing the importance of digital literacy and coding in the 21st century. Our students will now have the opportunity to acquire valuable skills that will prepare them for success in today's rapidly changing world," she said.

She said that the schools are committed to providing its students with a well-rounded education system that prepares them for the challenges and opportunities of the future at the job market.

"The full deployment of KICD approved coding lessons is just one way in which the school is living up to this commitment to learners, parents, the community and the nation. We look forward to seeing the positive impact that these lessons will have on our students as they continue to grow and develop their skills," said Mwaura

Earlier, President William Ruto said coding lessons when integrated with the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) will equip students with computer programming skills needed to drive the fourth industrial revolution.

"We have to grow our tech knowledge from primary school all the way to the university and to make it happen, coding will become part our curriculum," said Ruto.

He added: "This will ensure coding and the whole computer and tech ecosystem becomes part of our journey in transforming our education curriculum by aligning it to the needs of the market. We want the learners to go to school to acquire knowledge that is relevant to the 21st century where technology runs everything."

Safaricom Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Peter Ndegwa said they partnered with Kodris Africa to teach the first ever government approved coding syllabus.

"The future is about seeking skills that will help the young people find jobs that are relevant. In a digital world, we need to form an industry digital program that allows us to equip our learners with necessary skills that will help them in the future," said Ndegwa.

Technology is rapidly changing the landscape of the workforce with employers across the world increasingly seeking a digitally skilled labour force.

It is projected that by 2030, 50 - 55 per cent of all jobs in the country will require some level of digital skills with the demand being primarily driven by enterprises adopting digital technologies.

Countries like the US, China, England, Germany and France among many others in the developed world have already made coding compulsory for grade-one learners.