By Emma Okonji
In furtherance of efforts to ensure Nigeriaâ€™s place in the emerging digital economy, experts have called on the government to support initiatives to teach children coding as this can precipitate a silent revolution.
Speaking at the closing ceremonies of â€˜A Summer to Codeâ€™ training in Alimosho, Lagos State, the Chief Content Officer at De Royale Hall Resources, Mr. Elvis Eromosele, noted that in the emerging digital society, coding would become as basic as reading and writing. He explained that coding, which makes it possible for us to create computer software, apps and websites, will become the new literacy.
According to him: â€œIt is imperative that children be provided access to coding know-how, to ensure that Nigeria and Nigerians are not left behind. â€œCoding is now a life skill, so children from every strata of society deserve the opportunity to acquire coding skills, to be prepared for the future and to keep abreast with change in the society.â€
He explained that there is no limit to what they can achieve, â€œwe only need to provide the platform to set them on the right path. â€˜A Summer to Codeâ€™ helped to create an enabling environment and platform to help them find expression for their thoughts and imaginations.
â€œIn the course of this summer, we found that coding equally helped to strengthen the childrenâ€™s logical thinking, improved their problem solving skills and boosted their readiness for the digital future,â€Â he said.
On the experience, Eromosele noted that the six Saturdays of learning to code, was highly enlightening. â€œThe class had 21 participants aged between 4 -18 years. By the end of the third week, the kids were creating basic websites, and understood the concept of mobile apps design, development and deployment. Children began to code with minimal supervision by the end of the third week.â€
According to him, it takes about two to three months to learn coding (programming) at a level that the learner can work with, noting that â€˜A Summer to Codeâ€™ is the just first step in turning on the light for children in Alimosho.â€
The co-Cordinator of the coding project, Mr. Godfrey Adejumoh,Â said there was a need for government to support efforts to bring coding classes to children not just across Alimosho but Nigeria. He urged the government to set up a centre where kids can access computer systems, and acquire at least three hours of lessons a week, plus some measure of follow up and mentoring to keep them in check.
Adejumoh noted that with coding, Nigeria could unleash the creative energies of the young people in Alimosho, and indeed across Nigeria, and help them to discover the beauty of storytelling using coding. Coding is the future. That future must begin now, he said.