Microsoft Kenya has partnered with KidsComp Camp and AISEC JKUAT to train 5,000 primary school pupils aged 9-15 years from at least five counties in Kenya on basic coding through the WeSpeakCodeKE Initiative.
The project, which is part of Microsoft Global Youth Spark programme, seeks to spark interest and demystify coding among young learners in Kenya. The project that was recently launched has already trained 2,581 pupils from four counties; Homabay, Nyeri, Kitui and Vihigaand. It hopes to reach an additional 2,000 pupils in Nairobi and Machakos counties.
Speaking during the WeSpeakCodeKE training at YMCA Kibera Primary School in Nairobi, Microsoft Kenya Microsoft Kenya’s citizenship and public affairs manager Alex Nyingi said the company was committed to increase access for all youth to learn computer science, empowering them to achieve more for themselves, their families and their communities.
“As our world continues its evolution into one that is mobile-first and cloud-first, it is important for educators in the country to seriously consider offering coding as a subject and how it can be integrated into the curriculum as soon as possible. We believe that code is a language that anyone can learn and computational thinking is an essential foundational skill that should be taught in all schools — regardless of age, gender, or your current field of study,” he added.
The training, that targeted 500 pupils, saw them receive introductory computer science training using Kodu Game Lab, a Microsoft owned software. This will provide a foundation to develop the computational-thinking and problem-solving skills that are critical for the pupil’s development and additionally usher the young learners to the world of building computer/mobile games.
Also present at the training was Kids Comp Camp’s Caleb Ndaka, who reiterated that the aim of the programme was to demystify coding especially among young learners.
“Technology has become an integral part of people’s daily lives around the world and that there is a growing demand to teach youth not only how to use technology, but also how to create technology to help them become the innovators and drivers of growth and opportunity in their communities,” said Ndaka.
Meanwhile, the Technical Vocational Education and Training Authority on Tuesday closed down eight non-compliant technical institutions offering diploma and certificate courses within Nairobi and its environs.
This is in order to bring sanity in the TVET sector and to ensure quality training that will lead to skilled and employable graduates in accordance the TVET Act, 2013.
Led by chairman Prof Wilson Ogola, accompanied by the director general Dr Kipkirui Langat among other officers, the authority closed down five colleges in one building in the CBD while the rest were shut in River Road.
Speaking after the raid, Dr Langat said communication for registration had already been sent to all institutions and programmes as per section 17 of the TVET Act, 2013 on January 14, 2015.
“Institutions that have not submitted applications for registrations and licensing are now targeted for closure starting with Nairobi and thereafter will be rolled out to other counties in due course,” Langat said.
He added that the crackdown is meant to safeguard Kenyans from seeking admission on unregistered TVET training institutions.
Langat asked all TVET registered institutions to comply with the provisions of the act in order to produce competent skilled personnel for the country to achieve Vision 2030 and for global competition.
“The act mandates the authority to ensure production of a critical mass of well-trained human resources to implement programmes and projects identified in it,” he noted.
Langat said so far 777 institutions have applied for registration and licensing out of which the authority has inspected 366 institutions for compliance with set quality standards.
“A total of 82 technical and vocational colleges and 26 vocational training centres have already been approved by the board for registration and licensing while 258 institutions have been recommended for improvement.”
He said the authority is in the process of publishing the list of the institutions in its website.
-Additional reporting by KNA