Ondo State Empowers Teachers in Digital Technology

Emma Okonji

Ondo State government, in partnership with SAP, is set to train and empower its teachers in digital technology, ahead of the SAP Africa Code Week (ACW).

SAP’s Africa Code Week (ACW) initiative, has received accolades as a critical leverage to bridge the continent-wide digital divide, as well as being a significant launch-pad for youth empowerment in the digital era.

Governor of Ondo State, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, gave a rousing speech where he thanked SAP and ACW key and primary partners (UNESCO YouthMobile, the Cape Town Science Centre, the Galway Education Centre and Google) for their vision of every African child empowered though ICT.

The governor spoke through the Deputy Governor, Mr. Agboola Ajayi, at a two-day Train-the-Trainer hands-on workshop organised by SAP in partnership with the state.

Based on the globally-acclaimed scratch interface developed by the MIT Media Lab to simplify the face of coding for the young generation, the training is aimed at imparting coding skills to secondary school teachers across the three Senatorial Districts in the run up to Africa Code Week 2017 – which will take place from 18 to 25 Octoberacross 35 countries.

The Governor said he considered the workshop as very relevant since the time has come for Government and the private sector entities to work together to promote digital access, improve ICT skills and create opportunities for youths in our ever-competitive and dynamic world.

“It is also gratifying to note that SAP shares this philosophy that we need to join forces to bridge the digital skills and gender gap continent-wide. I am therefore very happy that SAP is deploying their skilled volunteers to train teachers in Ondo State who, will in turn, will train the next generation of ICT savvy youths,” the governor said.

Akeredolu said the state desires that the citizenry of Ondo State participate actively in the new economy, benefiting from the opportunities it presents. To facilitate this, the Government is championing many ICT initiatives such as the planned establishment of Tech Hubs in each of the three senatorial districts, to make governance more effective and efficient.
“This will provide an enabling environment for different categories of youths and ICT enthusiasts to acquire and develop different skills in information and communication technology, which can be deployed for economic gains as ‘techpreneurs’, the governor said.

Speaking further on ACW 2017, Director of EMEA Corporate Social Responsibility at SAP and Africa Code Week Global Lead, Claire Gillissen-Duval, said; “Leveraging freely accessible teaching materials like Scratch, ACW Train-the-Trainer workshops provide a sound, scalable structure for inter-group knowledge sharing, unlocking people’s potential and desire to serve as resources for each other. In the knowledge sharing age we live in, this is the key to scaling digital literacy initiatives in a sustainable way, across all communities.”

Managing Director, SAP West Africa, Pedro Guerreiro, stated that ACW would reinforce SAP’s commitment to education, creating a full lifecycle of skills support for young people in Africa. With a goal to empower 200,000+ teachers and positively impact the lives of 5M young Africans over the next 10 years, ACW is built to be sustainable and provide long-term impact.

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