By Oluwaseun Sonde, Abuja
As a way of preparing kids for the future, experts in the information Technology (IT) space in Nigeria has admonished parents to equip and encourage their wards to embrace coding as a skill.
This, they guarantee, due to the global economy shift will make them relevant in the 21st century as well as positively impact the nation’s economy.
To buttress their point, the founder, Codefest International, Mr Moss Uromtah noted in his opening speech at the Innovative Kidsville Expo that IT skills (such as coding) has become a foundational tool for preparing kids for subject mastery and their future career.
Uromtah connoted that the main reason is the innovative mindset and problem solving ability which comes from experimenting with writing computer codes and self-development.
“The kids learn cognitive and put their imagination to work once we show them how to. Because we blend our coding programs with emotional intelligence, they learn by doing.
“Codefest Kids Coding Bootcamp is a quarterly coding program which culminates Innovative KidsVille Expo.“We realised the teachers and school owners do not really grasp the concept of computer programming or engineering covered in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).
“Thus we decided to run holiday coding programs that can admit kids 5-17 years from any school or region in Nigeria. As a digital transformation organisation, we have a mandate of making Nigeria work through digital skilling and empowerment with the kids and adult not excluded.
“Also, the constraint within Nigeria has made us embrace innovation and technology to transform Nigeria knowing that the children are the leaders of tomorrow and coding has become a universal language”, Uromtah explained.
Also, one of the project facilitator, Miss Alaguva Uchenna said coding is essential. With kids learning coding at this age and coming out with mind blowing innovations using scratch is worthy of applause.
According to her, this skill will help them in future. With continuous practice we should all be expecting amazing innovations from them at that time.
“You might not know what is in them until you give the opportunity. They can now create games and write programmes using codes all by themselves”, Uchenna noted.
One of the parent, Mr Olugbenga Johnson who also doubles as the Chief Executive Officer, Autus Bridge Consulting agreed with her, while speaking he stated that two of his kids were registered for the bootcamp and during the course of the coding training each day the kids were more engrossed in trying to develop a game on their own at home. More so, they were enthusiastic about doing their assignments and as well as teaching the younger ones who have also started showing interests in it.
“It is amazing how within five days, they’ve come with coding amazing presentations and project”, he said.
Johnson also posited that IT is the future and hitherto, it has changed the way we live and interact.
“Apart from building games, am sure the kids has picked up skills to develop work productivity that the economy will benefit from.
“I urge Parent to give their wards the opportunity to learn specialised education aside the class/academic curriculum”, he said.
Another parent, Mrs Kemi Ogunkoya by name with a nine years old girl expressed her delight on the changes she perceived from her child.
“Beyond being more technological savvy, I feel that the coding training has impacted other area of her life in terms of discipline and diligence.
“Am a lover of creativity in children with firm belief that children should not be taught for the sake of having information but they should be taught to become more resourceful and creative as well as become more useful to themselves and society.
“This is raising the next generation of African children who can break out of the norms and status quo as well as develop applications and innovations to deal with some Nigeria problems”, Ogunkoya pointed out.
However, Ogunkoya administered that on part of the parent, the fear of exposing their wards to technology should not be a barrier to learning relevant IT skills such as coding.
She said learning this skill will ensure that the children will be able effective compete on the global stage.
“The world has become technologically inclined and it will continue to go deeper. In order for our kids not become menial or irrelevant, these skills need to be embraced with joy”, Ogunkoya advised.