To address the wide gap that exists in the acquisition of the right knowledge skills set that is relevant in the technology-driven world, iCODE an initiative of iBridgeHUB is training children in Ibadan the basics of coding.
In an exclusive interview with IBPulse.com, Francis Madojemu, head of iBridge HUB an initiative that works by embracing the principles of open innovation said the reason for the initiative stemmed from the need to address the wrong popular notion that Africa cannot catch up with technology.
“General attitude in Africa that maybe we will never catch up with this technology. But unfortunately, technology is taking over everything – medicine, police, teaching, security. Everything is going tech. According to my mentor, computer is the only thing that man has ever made since the beginning of time where the manufacturer cannot tell the person who bought it what he should use it for,” he said.
While many Nigerians are aware of Twitter, Facebook and Instagramm they are not aware of the processes the products went through before getting to the end-user.
“Presently, we can only use what others have produces, we can’t come up with ours. We need to understand how to speak the language of the computer,” he said.
He added: “Computer has got to speak to us, we also have to speak to the computer in order to accomplish things.
“In Ibadan, we are just trying to introduce people to the behind-the-scenes of the technology that is running the world today so that you can apply it better and you can begin to use it to change the world.”
On the church of children, he said the decision was made in order to introduce them to coding at an early age.
“We are teaching them the basics upon which they can build in the future. There is a huge need for people with such understanding in the world, talk less of Nigeria. Even the Computer Society of Nigeria (COSON) has revealed that we have the problem of lack of people who can code and understand how to build technology you can apply.
“When are we going to start having technology you can speak Yoruba to? Computer is not discriminatory, it doesn’t care whether you are black or white, Yoruba or Igbo. Give it what it needs and it will give you what you asked for.
“With iCODE, we are teaching the basics of coding; we just want you to understand the basics and be able to apply the technology to whatever you are doing,” he said.
Concerning the response to the initiative, he said it has been impressive and the initiative is committed to making it more regular.
He said: “The response to the iCODE Summer Camp for children was very good. We had more than 90 kids in attendance and we are now planing to make the programme to be on a regular basis although we will still hold the Summer Camp next year.
“The ideal thing is to introduce coding in the school curriculum but it is very difficult to convince schools to invest in something they won’t see the result right now.”
On the importance of coding to life, he said it is able to change how an individual thinks and acts.
“Coding teaches people how to think creatively and differently. You’ve got to apply things and break things down into pieces,” he told IBPulse.com.