Coding Comes to African Classrooms

16 August 2022

Trends show software programming is becoming an essential ingredient in African education, as the continent leapfrogs into the digital economy.

Education stakeholders are promoting coding in schools to expose young learners to technology and create a path to a new world of innovation and creativity.

In April, Kenya introduced coding into its national curriculum, setting the pace for a new ICT agenda in African policy-making that could boost computer programming across the continent.

The East African state launched the coding curriculum in primary and secondary schools, becoming the first state on the continent to make it an official syllabus.

The Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development approved coding as a critical skill within the new Competency Based Curriculum.

In South Africa, coding "boot camps" are springing up to satisfy the growing demand for digital skills in that economy.

CodeSpace, CodeX, iXperience, School of IT, Umuzi, HyperionDev and WeThinkCode are some of the boot camps driving digital skills in the Rainbow Nation.

In its 2022/23 annual performance plan published in May, South Africa's Department of Basic Education (DBE) promised full implementation of coding and robotics for Grade R-3 and 7 from the next financial year.

DBE plans full-scale implementation for Grades 4-6 and Grade 8 for 2024, followed by Grade 9 in 2025

The expected implementation of the coding curriculum follows a successful pilot in 2021.

Recently, tech experts urged policymakers in Nigeria to incorporate code learning in the school curriculum at both primary and secondary levels, the Nigerian Tribune reported.

Ed-tech experts hope a "digitally conscious" syllabus will help improve technological advancement and innovations in the populous state.

In 2019, the Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (TIEC) of Egypt’s Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) launched ‘Next Coders’ programme.

TIEC was designed to offer secondary-school first-year students the training course gratis with a nanodegree certificate on ‘Learn to Code’ presented by Udacity.

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