Credit Bank, Microsoft, Kodris Africa partnership to enhance digital literacy

LITERACY

Three firms have teamed up to equip learners in Kenya with coding skills in a move aimed at enhancing digital literacy in the country.

Under the partnership, Credit Bank, Microsoft Africa and Kodris Africa will work together to promote use of Kodris Africa Studio by students in Kenya, which will then be rolled out to the rest of Africa as well as democratize technology in the continent to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

This comes on the backdrop of formal approval of a coding syllabus for primary and secondary schools in Kenya which aims at teaching students how to develop computer program as the country seeks to increase skills pool needed to tap opportunities in the digital economy.

“We are entering into this partnership to support all stakeholders including the government, schools, parents, and learners and for the social impact it will cause. It is critical that this skill begins to be understood at this elementary level. We are doing this to prepare the young Kenyan citizen for the future workplace,” said Betty Korir, Credit Bank Chief Executive Officer.

Coding teaches learners how computers function and is the act of translating human intentions into commands that computers can understand and is used to create modern use digital solutions such as mobile money transfer and smart devices.

Kenya became the first country in Africa to formally approve the coding syllabus issued by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) on April 19, 2022.

Microsoft Africa Development Center Program Manager Irene Githinji said the initiative is an extension of the commitment Microsoft has with Kenya’s Ministry of Education which spans over two decades.

“The Ministry of Education has made a great step in the right direction by approving a product that will enhance digital literacy among students in Kenya. We enjoin ourselves in this journey to bring this piece of education to Kenyan schools. Students who learn and understand coding have an advantage of coming full participants – rather than merely spectating – in a heavily computerized and digitized world,” said Githinji.

Microsoft opened its premier engineering hub, the African Development Centre last month which will house the engineering, design, research, and innovation teams, as well as the Microsoft Garage, an incubation hub launched as part of the ongoing efforts to scale tech innovation in the continent.

She added, “The beauty of understanding how digitization and connectivity works means that our children will have an opportunity to compete for job opportunities beyond boundaries without necessarily having to travel there in the world of remote working.”

On his part, Kodris Africa CEO Mugumo Munene said the partnership would enhance the firm’s purpose of enhancing digital literacy among Kenyan students for socio-economic transformation.

“This partnership that we have signed marks an important milestone towards making coding a reality for learners across Kenya and indeed the rest of Africa. Partnerships can only be good news for learners who deserve all the knowledge that they can acquire in their years of study so that they can stand shoulder to shoulder with their peers from around the world. Kodris Africa adds to the skills they are acquiring in school and enhances their ability to competitively navigate the 21st century,” he said.

The partnership comes at a time Kenya unveiled the Kenya National Digital Master plan 2022-2032 by ICT Cabinet Secretary which seeks to leverage on new innovations to accelerate socioeconomic growth.

The government is already boosting the country’s ICT workforce through the Digital Literacy Programme launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2016.

  

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