Kenya Becomes the First African Country to Teach Coding as a Subject in Schools

Code

Kenya is East Africa’s economic hub and home to about 56 million people. The country has a recent history of turbulent elections. As the country was headed for the 2022 elections this week. The current incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta who will not run for the third term according to term limits officially approved the Coding Curriculum.

Kenya is at the forefront of technological innovations in the region and is often referred to as Africa’s ‘Silicon Savannah. ‘ The Government of Kenya (GOK) has invested heavily in the ICT sector and has recognized the sector as a key contributor to the country’s GDP.

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Known as the Silicon Savannah, Kenya’s thriving tech scene is home to the most cutting-edge startups on the continent.


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What is Coding?

In simple terms, coding refers to using a language that a computer understands to develop computer programs, mobile applications, websites, etc. Coding is therefore similar to introducing a new language to the school curriculum hence a new subject to be studied.

Last Friday at the State House in Nairobi, the president of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, announced the addition of coding as a subject into its primary and secondary schools curricula.

“I applaud the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development for leading our nation to this landmark achievement, by implementing coding as a critical skill within our new Competency Based Curriculum,”   

President Kenyatta said at the event.

The President also launched the National Cybersecurity Strategy 2022 which provides strategic interventions in addressing national cybersecurity challenges in Kenya. The Kenya National Digital Master Plan which will run till 2032 was also inaugurated.

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As he winds up his term in office, President Kenyatta expressed satisfaction that his administration has made great strides in digitization and embedding ICT across every aspect of public life. He cited the revolution in the delivery of Government services through the globally acclaimed “Huduma Centres” as one of the achievements of the country’s digitization program.

Kenya continues to maintain its place as one of the hotbeds for digital innovation on the continent. This new initiative reflects an ambition to reimagine education and a solid dedication to building the future. And as it seems both the private and public sectors are aligned with this vision. Just this year alone, Microsoft, Visa, and Google opened their first development centers in the country’s capital.

Kenya has already distributed more than 1.2 million laptops for learners in public schools and connected electricity to more than 22,000 schools. The initiative is ongoing to capture all schools as they go digital.

About the syllabus

Kodris Africa, an online publishing company that specializes in equipping learners with 21st-century skills, will offer the syllabus after it was granted approval by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development.

Kodris is offering the syllabus in other 48 nations across the continent. The curriculum has an easy-to-use interface and can be taught by any schoolteacher. It will cover both primary and secondary school.

This new development makes Kenya the first country in Africa to approve coding as a subject of study in public schools. This also creates room for a challenge, especially for the neighboring countries.

Conclusion

Information Technology offers countless benefits for the education industry. If implemented correctly it enhances the learning experience of students, improves communication among teacher, students & parents as well as improve the productivity of admin and other staff members.

Through coding, children learn to quickly fix and try again differently when something doesn’t work out. Coding also equips kids with the ability to stick with a problem and work on finding a solution. This problem-solving technique is transferable to a lot of other fields.

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