The government will next week roll out the implementation of the computer coding curriculum support material on a pilot basis targeting public primary and secondary schools under the Digital Literacy Programme.
Coding is the process of converting human intentions into commands that computers can comprehend. The lessons will be presented to the learners through an interactive online studio.
The pilot project will include 100 public primary and 50 public secondary schools that have been chosen by the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Authority from across the country.
“The ICT Authority and the Ministry of Education have selected the first batch of 150 public schools in which the coding content will be deployed as part of piloting process before being fully rolled to over 22,00 public schools in the country,” said Kodris Africa CEO Mugumo Munene.
“Adding coding to the school curriculum will enhance students’ technological skills and put them on the scope in the ever-growing world of technology. The real work we want to do is to prepare students for the job market,” said Mr Mugumo during a media breakfast at Nairobi hotel yesterday.
He went on: “In the next 3-5 years, at least 55 per cent of all jobs in Kenya will require digital skills as employers are seeking for a productive workforce that is digitally skilled,”
The curriculum support material has already been approved by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD).
“Kenya is the first country in Africa to reach this important education milestone of fast tracking coding lessons in our education system,” said Charles Ong’ondo, KICD Chief Executive Officer.
Earlier, ICT Authority CEO Kipronoh Ronoh said the government has already distributed more than 1.2 million laptops across the country in support of the Digital Literacy Programme.
“We have already distributed more than 1.2 million laptops for learners in public schools and teacher devices in the country as well as connected electricity to more than 22,000 schools. With this infrastructure in place, we will be able to fully support the implementation of the program,” said Dr Ronoh.
He added: “We are leading in Africa in digital literacy. We have two factories in Kenya producing digital devices. With digital literacy, we are preparing our young learners to become architects of the digital age where they can be producers and not just consumers.”
The rollout of the coding curriculum support material comes at a time the ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru has already unveiled the Kenya National Digital Master plan 2022-2032 which is a blueprint for leveraging and deepening the contribution of the ICT sector to accelerate socio-economic growth.
Microsoft Africa Development Centre Programme Manager, Student and Education Engagements, Irene Githinji said the promotion of coding, which is a signature subject in the study of computer science and the digital world.
“Students who learn and understand coding have an advantage of becoming full participants – rather than merely spectating – in a heavily computerised and digitised world.
“The beauty of understanding how digitisation and connectivity works means that our children will have an opportunity to compete for job opportunities beyond boundaries without necessarily having to travel there in the world of remote working.”