According to Code.Org, by the Year 2020, about 1.4 million computer programming-related jobs would be available in America. But, according to the website’s estimates, only 400, 000 Americans will have the skills to do these jobs. The sad thing for Nigeria is more than 95% of its youth would be unable to effectively compete for these extra 1 million high-paying jobs because they lack the prerequisite skill, programming.

Most schools in Nigeria boast of having Computer Science classes where they teach the children how to use the computer and a smaller number of schools use tablets and different applications to teach some subjects. This is a good starting point but more needs to be done quickly. Our children need to know how to create their own computer programs; not just knowing how a computer works, but how a computer can work for them.

Obviously, not all children will grow up and get or seek jobs as programmers but they will need this basic knowledge because technology – especially digital – will impact every career in the 21st century. Moreover, any country serious about preparing its future generation to be competitive in the global job market will ensure her children are actively engaged with technology from a very early age.

The basics of programming is to get a computer to solve a problem by obeying a sequence and logical set of instructions or commands. Hence, by teaching a child computer programming at a very young age, you ignite their creativity, provide them with problem-solving and social interaction skills, help them articulate and think logically. These can facilitate their academic success and help them cultivate skills for 21st century readiness.

All being said, the next big question is how do we introduce programming in a non-threatening way to majority of Nigerian children who are not literate and have no access to a computer?

Answers, next week!