Microsoft Kenya, Kids Comp Camp, and AIESC JKUAT have come together to start WeSpeakCodeKE, an initiative targeting to teach code to 5,000 primarily school pupils aged between 9 and 15 years old.
The WeSpeakCodeKE initiative is part of Microsoft Global Youth Spark; a program aimed at sparking an interest in tech among the marginalized community in tech space. The effort also goes a long way to demystifying coding among the Kenyan youths. The program will run in at least five counties in Kenya including, Homabay, Vihiga, Kitui, Nyeri, Machakos, and Nairobi.
Alex Nyingi, the Microsoft Kenya Citizenship & Public Affairs Manager while attending a WeSpeakCodeKE function at the YMCA Kibera Primary School in Nairobi, said Microsoft is committed to empowering all youth with computer science knowledge.
“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,” said Nyingi.
“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.”
The WeSpeakCodeKE function at the YMCA Kibera Primary School set out to teach at least 500 pupils the essential in computer science using Kodu Game Lab. Experts argue that this game gives the young learners the ability to develop the computational thinking and problem-solving mentality needed to learn more advanced content about coding and computer science.
Caleb Ndaka from Kids Comp Camp also attended the event at the primary school, and he reiterated on the goal of the program. He said the program sought to demystify coding and spark an interest in computer science among the local youths. Adding that the young learners will be better equipped with current skills that are becoming increasingly important in the 21st century and beyond.
“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,” said Ndaka, “To help them become the innovators and drivers of growth and opportunity in their communities.”