Stakeholders Push For Digital Skills Integration In School Syllabus
In collaboration with Kodris Africa and Rusinga School, KAIS hosted a symposium to educate stakeholders on the importance of teaching computing skills in primary and secondary schools.
KAIS Chairperson Wairimu Njage stated at the symposium in a Nairobi hotel that the education sector has experienced significant turbulent change and that engagement with digital skills will play a role in driving innovation in various economic sectors.
“We as KAIS, remain committed to making a contribution that makes education offered in Kenya remain dynamic and relevant in preparing global citizens,” said Mrs. Njage.
The event focused on the computing and coding curriculum, as well as the significance of incorporating digital skills in primary and secondary schools.
It is estimated that by 2030, 50-55 percent of all jobs in Kenya will require some level of digital skills, with demand being driven primarily by enterprises adopting digital technologies.
In this context, KAIS hosted a digital skills symposium, which brought together various stakeholders from the education and ICT sectors. Microsoft, Google Safaricom, and Liquid Telcom were among those present.
Simultaneously, the Head of Google in Africa Jack Ngare stated that the only way Kenya and Africa can keep up with developed nations is to introduce coding at the elementary level of education.
“Coding is one of the fundamental building blocks in IT and empowering our people to be able to understand and build some of the technological products that we consume that is why we need to start teaching coding in this country at zero option,” emphasized Ngare.
In her remarks, Catherine Muraga, Managing Director of Microsoft Africa Development Centre, stated that coding has become so central to all career paths.
“The need to teach learners how to solve problems through coding, as it has become a lot more important that we have to pay attention and make sure our children are well equipped for efficiency and productivity,” she added.
Furthermore, Mugumo Munene, CEO of Kodris Africa, emphasized the importance of teaching learners more than just how to use computer applications.
Munene explained that coding entails translating computer instructions from human language to a language that a machine/computer can understand, and that technologies on which humans have come to rely, such as smartphones, ATM cards, mobile money, Internet banking, e-learning, and telemedicine, all run on codes.
“If you talk to experts, they will tell you that the younger you start learning how to code, the better it is in a world which is so connected and children need to learn digital skills such as coding from an early age,” stated Munene.
He went on to say that Kodris Africa is the only organization that offers a curriculum that has been approved by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) for teaching coding in schools.
Munene added that the curriculum isn’t just for one type of school; it’s cross-cutting and can be used by public schools, private schools, and international schools.
On behalf of KICD, Charles Munene, Assistant Director of e-Learning, stated that rapid technological and social changes have driven curriculum reforms over the last two decades.
Munene said that Coding is becoming the most in-demand job skill of the future.
He noted that countries such as the United States, China, England, Germany, and France, among many others in the developed world, have already made coding mandatory for grade-one students.