5252 kids and Counting; TechQuest is on a Mission to Teach African Kids to Code

The world is going digital, hence the need to empower African kids with digital skills that will help them compete effectively with their peers in other continents. To answer this urgent need in the society, TechQuest Technology Academy, a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education provider was founded in 2015 to bridge the digital literacy gap in Nigeria and other African countries.

Over the years through our Summer Camps for primary and secondary schools, we have been able to empower kids through the use of technology tools. In order to extend our intervention in improving the level of digital literacy across Nigeria, TeachAKid2Code Initiative was founded in 2018.

Picture of TechQuest Team with Volunteers and Kids (2017)

TeachAKid2Code is a community-driven STEM engagement and impact program that is aimed at exposing and educating kids in STEM at scale through technology tools, volunteer efforts, and community support.

“TeachAKid2Code is currently active in 9 Nigerian states with the help of our Volunteer Network and Location Partners”

- Charles Uchenna Emembolu, Director TechQuest

Ongoing learning session (Ebutte-Meta, 2018)

In September 2018, TeachAKid2Code Initiative was kicked off in Abuja, Enugu State, Anambra State, Lagos State, Osun State, Oyo State and Plateau. The goal was to empower a minimum of 5000 kids through our volunteer network using technology tools.

Kelvin Umechukwu (tushgeek), Program Manager, TechQuest

Training sessions which lasted for 8 weeks (October 15 — December 8, 2018) were conducted in schools for kids and teachers. By December 2018, the initiative successfully introduced 5252 kids across 7 Nigerian States to coding through the support of Google and Africa Code Week. With the help of our volunteers and educators across the 7 states and our local partners, STEM Clubs were established in 63 schools.

Infographics on kids trained

Exceeding the 5000 kids milestone we initially set wouldn’t have been possible without the help of 300 volunteers that were trained and engaged. During the TeachAKid2Code September — December Cohort, 69 teachers and parents were also exposed to technology tools that will further help these kids to expand on the knowledge acquired.

Infographics on teachers and parents

Challenges

There are four key challenges we have encountered so far in our journey to drive STEM education in primary and secondary schools across Nigeria;

  1. The low level of digital literacy of teachers
  2. Infrastructural challenges
  3. Little implementation of key education policies at the Local Government and State levels
  4. The low involvement of government parastatals in the process of driving STEM education across Nigeria.

We strongly believe that these challenges if tackled will further establish STEM in Nigeria’s educational system.

Rita Chukwuma, Volunteer, TechQuest Club; Lagos.

The journey to empower kids in STEM hasn’t ended, it has just started. Our next TeachAKid2Code Cohort is about to commence and we need all the support we can get from volunteers, location partners and sponsors.

TeachAKid2Code training sessions

Take a moment to understand our program; www.bit.ly/TQplaybook or visit www.tqstem.org to join us in empowering the next generation with technology tools.

TechQuest teaches kids to code in Nigeria
Thanks to Emmanuel Ogunsola for helping with this article and video.