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Lagos to open 5,000 new coding centres

Lagos to open 5,000 new coding centres

The local government of Lagos state has announced plans to set up 5,000 new coding centres in 2018.

The government is creating the new centers in primary and secondary schools under the second phase of the CodeLagos initiative that was launched in 2016 and aims to teach 1 million residents basic coding skills.

Governor of the state Akinwunmi Ambode said the plan includes extracurricular coding centres that would be launched at public libraries and community centers, as well as private training centres.

Obafela Bank-Olemoh, special adviser to the governor on education, said the CodeLagos initiative has trained over 15,000 people.

"I believe we can educate one million people in the language of the future. Our success in Lagos State will create a ripple effect across Nigeria, and if we can change Nigeria, we can change Africa. If we can change Africa, we can undoubtedly change the world," he said.

Students are being trained on Scratch, Python and mobile app development, and there are plans to introduce Oracle's Alice and Greenfoot programming languages in the current academic session through a partnership with Oracle Academy.

"Coding classes commenced on April 9th in four centres – Herbert Macaulay Library, Yaba; Isolo Public Library, Isolo; Ilupeju Public Library, Ilupeju; and Onikan Youth Centre, Onikan. Additional centres including other Lagos State public libraries, community centres and private training centres are scheduled to roll out in a few weeks," said Bank-Olemoh.

The initiative currently has a total of 224 facilitators who receive NGN25,000 per term for successfully training the students.

"The grants are to compensate the additional time spent for prep work and to help cover some basic expenses like data purchase for personal learning and development. All CodeLagos facilitators are trained free of charge by Lagos State and receive support and resources throughout the term. Another round of training has been scheduled to hold this April as we commence the new term," Olemoh said.

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