Educational experts believe that in the future, many jobs will be carried out through technology and that it is therefore imperative that they start learning the skills at a young age.
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Anne Njine, an education specialist at the organisation, Opportunity International EduFinance said it is estimated that in the next 15 years, 75 per cent of jobs will require computer skills. By the time they start working, they will be “equipped and ready to go into the world of work with the right key skills that are needed for employability”.
One organisation that is helping with this task is Code With Kids, a technology-based initiative that works with children in the slums of the Nairobi suburb of Kibera, teaching them how to code and the concept of robotics.
It’s founder, Renice Owino, says the organisation is dedicated to providing affordable and accessible STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education to children and young adults from low-income areas.
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The facility in Kibera is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment that includes laptops and robotic kits. The project is partly funded by parents, and partly by charities.
When a child joins the programme, they are first taught the basics of how a computer works before advancing to skills such as web development, mobile application design, gaming and physical computing.
Through the initiative, they have been able to develop new skills. Many of the children have completed innovative projects and some have even created their own websites and applications.
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Code With Kids began in 2015 with 10 participants and has so far reached over 2,000 children through collaborations with schools in after-school programmes and coding bootcamps. Owino hopes it will make them more equipped and adaptable to Africa’s job market – in which coding is a coveted skill.