NIGERIA. Abuja: The Federal Government of Nigeria has launched a training camp for students of ages 8 to 11 in various aspects of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
The government says the decision is to provide access for the children to acquired ICT skills and to ensure that they are an integral part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution that is spreading around the world.
The Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Authority (NITDA), Malam Abdullahi Kashifu said the government’s decision is part of a strategic plan to install ICT in every household in Nigeria.
He spoke at the closing ceremony of the two-week training camp titled: “Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) for Children (SB4KIDS).”
The programme took place at the Federal Institute of Civil Service Training, Kubwa, Abuja, organized by the National Center for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR), a branch of NITDA.
Kashifu said the SB4Kids is part of NITDA’s efforts to implement the National Digital Economy Strategy and Policy (NDEPS), specifically the NDEP’s pillar-digital, literacy and skills.
Infusion of ICT in Education
The quality of Education, especially Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, is crumbling in our country, as shown by recent student results in major national examinations.
“As we move towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), a new strategy and innovative approaches to STEM education are needed, such as the introduction of artificial intelligence (AI), human machines, ‘Internet of Things (IoT) and other emerging technologies in our education system”, Kashifu added.
Through SB4Kids, the DG says, NCAIR will engage children and teenagers ages 8 to 16 with a well-designed and immersive training programme designed to train and inspire them to immerse themselves in their STEM passions and generate early interest in digital technology and emerging markets.
It is hopeful that these learnings will shape their future careers in these fields.
About NITDA SB4Kids
NITDA SB4Kids is an annual initiative, usually carried out during the school summer break.
Kashifu further explained that SB4KIDS was conducted between August 23 and September 2, in two batches, noting that the first batch involved young people aged 8 to 11 years old, while the second is aimed at young people between 12 and 16 years old.
This year, NITDA SB4KIDS trained nearly 200 participants, including 96 high school students and 82 seniors.
During the programme, all participants receive lunch, writing materials and all the care needed for our young people to have an enjoyable experience and a fun environment to acquire knowledge.
“Skilled NCAIR members have taken them through a variety of technologies, on a journey that requires critical thinking and keen curiosity in the worlds of digital science and technology”, Kashifu said.