BY ANTONY MUTUNGA
With the ever-increasing population, opportunities have become scarce. However, new opportunities are set to come up thanks to digital transformation. To ensure that young people are not left in the cold, the government, through the Ministry of Information Communication and Technology and Innovation (ICT) recently launched a training program that is set to equip 20 million Kenyans with digital skills.
If anything, the pandemic was a wake up call on the need for digital transformation. Businesses and individuals are now aligned to the “new normal”. Business operations, for example, are no-longer disrupted much because of digitalization of processes. Those who had already invested in digital literacy are also able to stand out and grow despite the emergence of new Covid-19 waves.
According to Joe Mucheru, ICT Cabinet Secretary, the time is ripe for Kenyans to invest in digital literacy as every sector is currently transforming digitally.
“In this digital where even most governments have been digitized to equip their citizens with the required technological skills, all Kenyans should know the importance of digital literacy,” Mucheru said, adding that Kenyans who are ready to equip themselves with the “necessary” digital skills are advised to register through the citizen.icta.go.ke. website.
The plan to train Kenyans comes at a time when the Ministry has already unveiled the Kenya National Digital Master plan 2022-2032, a blueprint for leveraging and deepening the contribution of the ICT sector to accelerate socio-economic growth.
The government has promoted digital literacy through distribution of more than 1.2 million laptops for learners in public schools in Kenya as well as connected electricity to more people and teacher devices to more than 22,000 schools.
In line with this, the Ministry in partnership with Kodris Africa is set to roll out a pilot project for the coding syllabus in 150 public schools, as part of measures to equip learners with 21st century skills such as problem solving and algorithmic thinking, right from the elementary level.
According to Mugumo Munene, Kodris CEO, the inclusion of coding to the school curriculum will enhance students’ technological skills and put them on the scope in the ever-growing world of technology. “The real work we want to do is to prepare students for the job market,” said Munene.