Coding for Employment
Current Situation in Kenya
Every year, an average of about 400,000 young people graduate from Secondary School after completing their high school examinations (KSCE). Out of the number that graduates only about 80,000 (20%) secure opportunities to attain universities and colleges leaving an estimated 80% of young people with no option to acquire university education and pursue meaningful career paths.
As opportunities to secure career paths continue to diminish for young people in Kenya, research on the other hand indicates that early career opportunities are critical in the lives of young people and that in the US for example, two thirds of wage growth that an individual will see over the course of their lives occurs in the first ten years after reaching their working age. Access to education and productive employment or income generating opportunities is the surest way for to improve one’s economic and social standing.
The growth of IT Industry/sector in Kenya has provided numerous opportunities for career development for young people in Kenya. The mobile phone industry for instance has a penetration of over 20 million subscribers (nearly half of the country’s total population).
This provides young people with unlimited opportunities for developing mobile applications that can address numerous challenges faced by communities and provide local technology solutions for local problems. Such opportunities include games, commerce sites and the mobile applications developed for service delivery in different sectors.
The demand for programming and coding skills whether on computers or mobile telephony is becoming an integral part of more and more businesses yet only graduates in computer science possess such knowledge in programming with a persistent gap between the number of computer-related jobs and students who study computer science.
Coding presents unique opportunities for young people from poor and disadvantaged background in Kenya to pursue careers in computer science and computer science related fields.
The program targets young people who are at their transition point in education from high school to tertiary education.
It is expected that in the long term, at least 70 per cent of the young people participating in this program will pursue careers in computer science and computer science related fields.
How we do it
We offer a comprehensive training based on the Microsoft IT Academy and Cisco Networking Academy recognized in the IT industry. Some modules we cover include;
- Introduction to computer systems, hardware and software and mobile applications
- Computer programming and coding
- Online work skills training
- In-class life skills training
- Financial literacy skills
- On-job training/placements
Areas of Success
“An Hour Of Code”
At ACWICT, we support Code initiative by hosting an Hour of Code not only during Computer Science Education Week, but also during outreach events.
This is aimed at demystifying computer science and encouraging millions to try it for just an hour
We have also incorporated coding in our curriculum where our beneficiaries have developed brilliant Mobile Applications and quality websites that solve various challenges faced in their communities.
Some of the mobile applications and websites have been bought by high-end corporate entities and County Governments.
Through coding our beneficiaries have developed the fundamental problem solving, creativity, and teamwork skills that helps one be competitive in anything they do.
Where we work
Out of School
Coding news from our Blog
ACWICT featured on the The Aid and International Development Forum (AIDF) 2017 edition guide on “Solutions That Save Lives and Support Development”
The guide offers a list of the most innovative solutions from mobile applications and data management tools to portable water purification treatments, solar powered energy supply and sustainable building materials for emergency shelter. It also includes innovations in emergency management, procurement and sourcing of essential aid supplies, healthcare equipment and medical devices, agriculture and education.
Everyone always has something new to learn and what was more important is for the children to cultivate an interest in coding even when they are on their own, encourage their friends to try an hour of code.
ACWICT in partnership with Microsoft have for years championed coding for employability initiatives aimed at promoting young people’s interest in learning how technology works so that they can pursue careers in computer science related fields. Both organizations felt the need to give back to their dedicated staff members by introducing their children into the tech savvy field
The Africa Code Event is a hackathon event that seeks to empower young women to have an effective role in the use of technology in their society.
A total of 258 graduates received certification, on technical skills (Information Technology Essentials, Online Work and Coding), Life skills, financial literacy and entrepreneurship skills having successfully completed training.
Introducing the children to computer programing skills at an early age exposes them to vast opportunities digital technology provides.
Investing technical IT skills in the young women of West Pokot makes good economic sense, as such the girls are now well endowed to become a reliable source of qualified personnel who are able to help address labor market – Ms. Constantine Obuya, ACWICT Executive Director.
In addition to providing coding skills to in –school students, we also endow them with reading materials as a way of giving back to society.
Transform Kisumu Digital Literacy Program graduates 579 standard 8 leavers with coding skills
Over 1,400 Standard Eight dropouts will benefit from a digital literacy programme launched by the County Government of Kisumu in partnership with African Centre for Women and ICTs
Kabogo ordered the county’s public service board to only take in employees who are computer literate since all systems have been digitalised.
“The county government will outsource human capital with ICT skills since we have digitised most of the services,” he said.
Kiambu Governor William Kabogo has encouraged young people to work with their leaders and champion for change and development.