Ekiti State, dubbed the fountain of knowledge is set to retake its position as the pacesetter in preparing youths for the skills they require to be employable and successful in the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) as the State Government launches Coding, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Education in public schools.
Twelve (12) schools from a mix of urban and underserved communities have been carefully selected by the government to participate in training on Coding, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.
The training was delivered by the team from Coderina Education and Technology Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that leverages technology as an enabler for gender, social and economic change.
The organization also donated 12 robotics kits to the 12 schools through sponsorship from partners including SAP, DOW, Ford, FIRST and the LEGO Foundation. The training and donated robots and kits are valued in millions of Naira
Nominated teachers and students from the 12 selected schools came together in Ado Ekiti for 2 days between the 17th and 18th of December, 2020 to partake in the inaugural training.
A community of practice was also created for the teachers to continue the learning and sharing process.
The 12 schools under this pilot phase are expected to ramp up to participate in the regional FIRST LEGO League Challenge; an experiential hands-on learning program that inspires young learners to pursue a career in STEAM (Science, Technology Engineering, Arts and Mathematics).
Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, speaking through the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Mr. James Owolabi, emphasized the importance of skills such as creative thinking, coding and AI as being important in the future of work as well as for entrepreneurship.
The Governor pledged his support for the initiative and promised to ensure that the program is scaled to all schools across the state, in order to ensure that no child is left behind.
Commenting on the programme, Dr. (Mrs) Olabimpe Aderiye, Commissioner for Education, Science, and Technology Emmanuel, reiterated that Dr Fayemi’s administration is determined to position the State to ensure “our youth and society benefit from ICT advancement; the future is digital. This is the way to go”.
Chairman of the Board of Coderina, Femi Niyi, hailed Ekiti State Government’s resolve to equip the youth with digital skills relevant for the 21st Century Knowledge Economy.
He said, “Coderina is quite happy that the Ekiti State Government understands that when you foster creativity by teaching digital skills to students or young learners, it improves them not only academically, but helps also to improve their critical and creative reasoning and problem solving skills.
He stated also that Coderina will continue to support other State Governments willing to equip their students for the future of work.
L-R: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Mr. James Owolabi and the Chairman of the Board of Coderina, Femi Niyi, during the training and robotics kits distribution to schools in Ekiti State