President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday presided over the countrywide roll-out of the coding curriculum in primary and secondary schools.
Speaking during the occasion at State House, Nairobi, President Kenyatta commended the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development for approving and implementing coding as a critical skill within the new Competency Based Curriculum.
“…today, Kenya becomes the first country in Africa to approve coding as a subject of study within the official curricula for primary and secondary schools.
“I applaud the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development for leading our nation to this landmark achievement, by implementing coding as a critical skill within our new Competency Based Curriculum,” President Kenyatta said.
At the same time, the President inaugurated the Kenya National Digital Master Plan that runs from this year to 2032 and the National Cyber-security Strategy 2022 which provides strategic interventions in addressing national cyber-security challenges and threats.
The President expressed optimism that the national digital master plan will cement the country’s leadership in ICT by creating an enabling policy, legal and regulatory environment for the greater adoption of e-governance as well as fostering the setup and growth of ICT-related businesses.
“This, no doubt, will enhance employment creation, enable and scale up ICT innovation and the development of a dynamic and robust ICT sector that will enhance growth of all sectors of our economy. The master plan also guides investors while planning their investment priorities,” President Kenyatta said.
The President pointed out that the Government is keen on leveraging the ICT initiatives to achieve its national and global commitments, applauding the digital master plan’s target of establishing over 20,000 village digital hubs across the country for citizen digital training.
He added that the village digital hubs will enable the Government to employ an additional 40,000 youth directly to man the centres and provide training to every citizen interested in enhancing their skills and competencies.
As he winds up his term in office, President Kenyatta expressed satisfaction that his administration has made great strides in digitization and embedding ICT across every aspect of the public life.
He cited the revolution in the delivery of Government services through the globally acclaimed “Huduma Centres” as one of the achievements of the country’s digitization programme.
In the education sector, President Kenyatta said the Digital Literacy Programme has been a key cog of the transformation of the education system.
“Despite an initial delay in the roll-out process, today the Digital Literacy Programme has transformed our education sector by making digital literacy universally available to our young learners, right from the earliest stage of their lives,” President Kenyatta said.
The President also acknowledged the progress made within the second tier of ICT skills development through the Presidential Digital Talent Programme that was inaugurated in 2015.
To further empower the youth, President Kenyatta said the Youth Enterprise Fund has been providing loans for start-up, business expansion, asset financing, agribusiness and talent development.
“To-date, the Fund has supported 2 million youth with loans worth Kshs. 14.2 billion. I am pleased to note that the Fund has disbursed a total of Kshs. 1.1 billion in loans since the first case of Covid-19 was reported in Kenya,” he said.
During the occasion, President Kenyatta witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the National Treasury and the United Arab Emirates’ Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development to support youth-owned enterprises in the country.
Cabinet Secretaries Joe Mucheru (ICT) and Prof. George Magoha (Education) were among the senior Government officials who attended the event.
CS Mucheru said since the launch of the coding curriculum barely two months ago, the private sector swiftly took it up and more than 317 private schools are already deploying the KICD approved coding curricula.
He added that a European based maritime equipment manufacturer, Med-Marine, has confirmed full sponsorship for eight public schools to benefit from coding using the approved curricula.
The schools include Starehe Boys Centre (Nairobi), Sparki Primary School (Mombasa), Manyatta Primary School (Kisumu), Nomads Primary School (Isiolo), Mararal DEB (Samburu), Chereta Primary School (Laikipia), Icuga secondary School (Nyeri County) and Kitondo Primary School (Machakos).
Earlier at State House, Nairobi, President Kenyatta handed over five buses to secondary schools. The schools that received buses were Mang’u High School, Ss Simon and Jude Academy, Kanjinji Secondary School, Mwiyogo Boys High School and Habaswein Secondary School.