Over 450 public and private school teachers from across North Central Nigeria gathered at Baze University last week, 25-30 September 2017, for a Train-the-Trainer (TTT) workshop session organised as part of Africa Code Week (ACW) 2017.
Forming part two of Nigeria’s training sessions, the event was coordinated locally by ACW network partner Coderina in collaboration with the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) and the Education Resource Centre (ERC).
The event came just a few weeks after 210 participants were trained in Akure, and it looked to empower more Nigerian teachers and volunteers with the teaching tools and coding skills they need to host coding workshops during ACW 2017 (18-25 October 2017) and make coding a daily reality in the classroom and beyond.
Initially launched in 2015 as part of SAP Africa’s commitment to driving sustainable growth and skills development on the African continent, ACW is an award-winning digital literacy initiative to bridge the digital and gender skills gap and empower Africa’s young generation with the coding skills they need to thrive in the 21st century. The 2017 edition of Africa Code Week will take place from 18-25 October 2017, providing thousands of free coding workshops for 500,000 youth across 35 countries – in partnership with UNESCO YouthMobile, Google, the Cape Town Science Centre, the Galway Education Centre, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), 14 African Governments and over 100 partners.
“Nigeria’s support through active Government involvement and widely-attended TTT workshops (over 650 so far) has been remarkable,” said Claire Gillissen-Duval, Director of EMEA Corporate Social Responsibility at SAP and Africa Code Week Global Lead. Underlining the power of public-private partnerships in the digital age, she also notes that “TTTs create a close-knit community between people: if we can create and strengthen these connections between young people, teachers, scientists, entrepreneurs, universities, business leaders and state representatives, then we are building more than a network: we are building a solid support system that’s growing steadily and organically.”
While older learners (aged 18-24) will be provided with a basic understanding of a website architecture, teaching them how to develop a fully operational and mobile-friendly website, learners aged 8-17 will learn to program their own animations using Scratch, an open-source teaching platform developed by the MIT Media Lab. Commenting on why SAP chose Scratch as the core pillar of Africa Code Week’s coding curriculum, Gillissen-Duval insisted that “Scratch is the most advanced, user-friendly and collaborative teaching tool out there. Beyond coding, math and geometry, it empowers children with core 21st-century skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, teamwork, creative thinking and so much more.” On the teacher side, Scratch is actively supported by the Harvard Graduate School of Education and by thousands of like-minded educators who want to learn with and from each other, sharing their ideas and strategies for supporting computational creativity in all its forms.
The initiative provides a number of ways for the public to get involved: over and above actual attendance, interested parties can receive free Scratch / Web Programming training and host free coding workshops for young people in their community afterwards.