Nairobi News


President Ruto announces coding to be part of education syllabus

By Hilary Kimuyu December 10th, 2023 3 min read

Learners in primary, secondary, and tertiary institutions will begin enrolling in coding lessons after President William Ruto said coding will be implemented in the curriculum.

On Saturday, December 9, the President said that the countrywide implementation of the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) approved coding program is in partnership with Google, Ministries of Education, ICT, and the digital economy.

Addressing the Youth Conekt Africa summit, the president said that the global job market is increasingly shifting towards virtual and technology-driven roles, necessitating an alignment of our education system with this reality.

“To this end, the Ministry of Education, in collaboration with global tech giant Google and the Ministry of ICT and Digital Economy, is launching a comprehensive coding programme in primary and secondary schools nationwide,” he said.

“With the technology available to us today it is very possible to build one African market. It is possible for an idea to rise in Nairobi, arrive in Lagos by Midday and Cape Town by sundown or vice versa.”

The Head of State revealed that Google has generously offered to create a job pipeline for program participants, providing access to digital gigs with earning potential of up to Sh450,000 ($3000).

He said that the continent must expand access to broadband connectivity and increase digital literacy for innovation to flourish.

The president stated that he intends to sign a law that allows the creation of the hubs by next week, which will train and enable the youths’ connectivity to job opportunities worldwide.

“I want to thank the Parliament of Kenya, they have just changed the law this week, in fact, I intend to sign it into law next week, so that we can create 1450 digital hubs in every ward in the republic of Kenya,” said the president.

Speaking last year during the Jamhuri Innovation and Tech Summit at the Kenya International Convention Center in Nairobi, President William Ruto said the entire tech ecosystem will become part of Kenya’s curriculum from elementary school to university.

The president said by teaching learners problem-solving skills early, through coding, they are better prepared for the contemporary world job market.

“This is to ensure that the entire tech ecosystem becomes part of our curriculum from elementary school to university. This fifth Jamhuri is dedicated to innovation and technology as Kenya must no longer underestimate the power of innovation and technology. Because of this, we need to know how to grow our technology from primary school. You have heard about coding that is now going to be part of our curriculum to ensure technology becomes part of our journey from primary school all the way to university,” he said.

The Economic Survey 2021 report by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), indicates that Information Communication and Technology (ICT) is one of the top ten highest contributors to Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

In July 2023, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recognised Kenya as the first African country to incorporate coding as a subject in primary and secondary schools under the new competency-based curriculum.

In a report titled ‘Technology in Education: A Tool on Whose Terms?’ which was published on Wednesday, July 26, UNESCO praised the country for its support of digital literacy in the new curriculum.

The report explored the impact of technology on education by surveying school systems globally.

“Kenya has become the first African country to incorporate coding as a subject in primary and secondary schools under the new competency-based curriculum. The Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development has approved a coding skills curriculum developed by Kodris Africa, a for-profit company, for children aged 7 to 16 in the Python programming language that focuses on algorithms, debugging and logical operators (Kodris, 2023),” the report stated then.