This segment is a collaborative effort between More Branches (@MoreBranches), a Nigerian based content curating site and Culartblog.
Written By Richard Ogundiya For More Branches (@MoreBranches) ________________________________________
I spent my childhood going for birthday parties and learning how to somersault. I got on a wave one time and I started writing (a big production house bought my script. There was even a time Rockstar Sosa and I started rapping, but those dreams kept on being dreams.
Today, It’s crazy how I see 6, 7 and 8 years old kids hop into their parents’ cars on weekends and tell you they’re going for coding sessions. Wait? What are you coding?
Oh are you still shadowed? You still don’t know Nigerian kids have started coding? I’m happy I broke the news. I always like to talk about the Role Co Creation hub has played and is still playing in the creation of a vibrant tech ecosystem, its crazy. Some years ago, I was testing an educational app in one of their labs, another time it was geeks club (after school hours for the tech enthusiasts) and then there was the bomb- summer of code.
Co Creation Hub birthed Re:Learn, an organization helping students and schools use technology the right way
Summer of Code is a full month of interactive programs that introduces kids aged 5-18 years old into computer science and programming, wild! Here, the kids learn to make connections between technology and their interests; they learn how to design computer games and animations using SCRATCH, design web pages using HTML/CSS and build computer applications using python, again, wild!
I really thought we were the internet kids, I was wrong. Imagine what these kids will do at age 13? We might wake up and stumble on a social messaging platform built by one of the kids, for the kids, someday.
Co Creation Hub birthed Re:Learn, an organization helping students and schools use technology the right way (if you can remember a picture of Mark Zuckerberg paying attention to kids while they used the computer during his visit to Nigeria then you definitely know what I’m talking about.)
Re:Learn currently runs an after school club for students between primary 1 and SS3, two times a week. There’s a weekend club for children who are too busy to spare work days, the sole aim is to prepare the kids for today’s digital world and also allow them learn new skills.
Then there’s gap year, for students who are done with secondary and have time to spare instead of unicribing (an act of sleeping and waking up till the next jamb form is out, common amongst West Africans) this one aims to kickstart a career for you and prepare you for the undergraduate life.
They’re using content curation and capacity development to improve the learning experience in and out of the classroom (emphasis on ‘out’). Few weeks ago, they launched Educators’ Network- a community of educators who are passionate about education and have a strong appreciation of technology, remember I said few weeks ago? Today, they’ve gotten over 1500 applications from across the country, Masters and PhD holders inclusive.
One at a time, these wonderful team from CCHub are engineering ways to ensure that the children of today become internet rockstars. They want to serve over 1,000,000 students in the span of 5 years and at the same time, combat unemployment by training graduates and deploying them to schools nationwide.
If our kids can code, if our kids can code, if our kids can jump on the internet of things, then it’s safe to say that Re:Learn has fixed a major October 1 1960 problem.
The future is being created via the internet and it’s energizing to know we have tech companies in Nigeria and other African nations encouraging the youths to be apart of the global internet revolution, this will allow us create our own applications and lead our own tech companies that can shape and structure solutions to problems that have faced Africans for years.
This new movement of coding within the culture has inspired tech start-ups like Andela, LeadSpace and one I’m currently building with friends called Mushroom Technologies.
Knowing we’re more empowered by aiding ourselves with the skills to program and construct our own layers of the world using a computer and internet, tech companies, start-ups and hubs like the ones I’ve mentioned will become homes to these pioneers.
We would create our own Google, our own Amazon, leaders of the tech world like Jeff Bezos or Steve Jobs will be birthed within them, in Africa to help grow these companies that might seem like start ups now, a change is coming and the kids are coding it.