President Uhuru Kenyatta’s tenure might be coming to an end, but he’s leaving a mark that may benefit Kenya’s tech ecosystem in years to come.
Last weekend, President Kenyatta announced the addition of coding as a subject into its primary and secondary school curricula.
With the announcement, Kenya will be the first African country to approve coding as a subject in schools. The curriculum was earlier introduced in April 2022—around the same time Kenya’s 10-year digital master plan was launched—but it’s now received the presidential stamp of approval.
Digital Master Plan
At the announcement of the coding curricula, President Kenyatta also inaugurated Kenya’s 10-year digital master plan.
First announced in March by the Kenyan Ministry of ICT, Youth Affairs, and Innovation, the digital master plan is a guide for the delivery of ICT infrastructure, skills, awareness, and services to Kenya over the next 10 years.
The digital master plan will increase Kenya’s 4G coverage by deploying 100,000 km of fibre-optic infrastructure to 40,000 learning institutions, 20,000 government institutions, 13,000 health facilities, and 25,000 hotspots. It also includes plans for the improvement of the country’s tech laws and the establishment of 2 software and 2 hardware facilities.
Kenya’s ICT sector is worth over Ksh538 billion ($4.6 billion), and it contributes a little over 8% to the country’s GDP so the country wants to lean hard on that and ensure that the numbers keep going up!
This is something Ghana government should learn from and implement immediately because there are a projected millions of jobs in the digital space in the near future and school kids of today will be competing with each other in the future for those jobs, no matter where they find themselves on the planet.
A policy that prepares kids for jobs in the digital space is by far the best education policy ever – far better than free SHS that does not offer much value beyond what has always been – just textbook knowledge.
A few organizations and private schools are giving kids free training in coding, but government needs to step in and make it a national policy, if our education system is to deliver real a futurist value for the country.