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Kenya introduces coding to school curriculum

 Kenya is the first African country to introduce coding as a subject in both primary and secondary schools curricula. The new initiative focuses on redefining education through tech employment.

Kenya plans to empower Gen Zers and future generation through tech-focused employment programs.

East Africa’s economic powerhouse is already a spot for giant tech companies such as Visa, Microsoft, and Google who all have physical centres in Nairobi. Kenya’s young population continues to grow and employment opportunities in the formal sector are scarce.

According to the African Development Bank (AfDB), an estimation of 12 million youth enter the workforce each year but only 3 million jobs are created.

Last week, Kenya’s president, Uhuru Kenyatta, announced coding would be added to school curricula. This is to give young people tech skills and provide jobs for the future.

The president said, ‘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.’

Kenya is one of the top African countries for digital innovation.

It has digitised most of its services and internet connectivity is available in most parts. To curb inevitable cybersecurity threats, the president also launched the National Cybersecurity Strategy 2022.

The new coding syllabus will be offered by Kodris Africa, an online publishing company, after it was approved by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development.

Students will be taught skills currently in high demand, and it’s hoped that this will enable self-employment and more remote job opportunities.

In ensuring digital programs are sustainable and impactful, the Kenyan President additionally launched the Kenya National Digital Master Plan that runs from 2022-2032. The plan is to establish and foster the growth of ICT-related businesses and have an enabling policy, legal, and regulatory environment for the future adoption of e-governance.

The Digital Master Plan is on a mission to create over 20,000 village digital hubs across the country that will enable the government to employ additional 40,000 youths, training them to lead fellow citizens on tech-related skills. Through this program, Kenya looks to empower neighbouring countries.

Having advanced tech skills to sustain future development is a key component in Kenya and Africa. Young people have potential and collective power – with the guidance of the government they can use that power to create change.