Smiles were all over the faces of parents who came to assess their kids’ performances at the just concluded Pixaweb Technologies ‘Teck Kids Nigeria’ Challenge.
The programme is Pixaweb’s means of empowering young minds through capacity building and over 1,000 kids have benefited from this programme within the last five years, TechEconomy.ng can report.
The team have been silently leading a technology revolution in Ago Palace, a suburb of Lagos.
The company was founded by Priscilia Ngozi Okechukwu and backed up by young, educated, dynamic, enthusiastic, qualified and functional experts team and management professionals, in pursuit of a single vision “to, raise world class and highly skilled technology professionals and entrepreneurs”.
Every summer, youths are taught how to do graphic designs, website development and cartoon animations.
Thus, as the COVID-19 lockdown was relaxed, the team converged to continue the excellent work, training 50 kids on coding and gaming applications.
“This year, we had a challenge (competition) where the winner was given a 4G Educational Tablet while other participants were given back-to-school bags. Well, everybody is a winner, but the most outstanding were selected for special recognition and voting online. Parents were also invited to monitor and assess the children while they performed hands-on showcasing experience”, Okechukwu said during a chat with TechEconomy.ng.
“‘Teck Kids Nigeria’ is the flagship programme of Pixaweb Technologies meant to empower and enhance the digital skills of school children. We are poised to build their entrepreneurial skills and provide mentorship through our flagship programme known as ‘YOUTHGO DIGITAL Challenge’.
“As an ICT firm we are passionate about raising digitally enabled entrepreneurs in this part of Nigeria. The kids are within the age-range of 07-16 years who are learning coding on Scratch, cartoon animation. We decided to train them on coding using Microsoft Game Lab which is an object animated programming Game-lab. The kids should generate ideas and code to bring them to reality”, she said.
When asked about her impressions with the kids, Priscilia Okechukwu, who doubles as the Vice President, Nigeria Women in Information Technology (NIWIIT), said, “Fantastic. They have been outstanding in their performances. Their parents and the school teachers have been commending the program for the impacts on the kids.
She however, said that majority of the participants were drawn from private schools hence the government has an urgent need to embrace such a program for the benefit of kids in public schools.
In her words, “The Government really needs to look at how to help the kids in public schools by updating the curriculum; by including coding and other digital skills programs. Most private schools are embracing programs like this but we can’t neglect the kids in the public schools. They deserve to also have career choices in ICT. We should be a technology-first nation because we have the talents and youths who are tech enthusiasts.
- All they need is just empowerment.
- Promotion of girl-child interest in tech
Pixaweb is a shining light in the quest to promote girls in ICT programs.
“Girls who attend this program are good. They are smart and keenly interested in IT related courses. We encourage them to embrace career paths in technology/ICT, engineering, digital marketing, etc.
“We try to promote 50-50 percentage in boys-and-girls’ participation but we have achieved 60-40 percentage. The girls are really picking interest. They are really challenging the boys. I just have to tell the kids that the foundation is what they need; that is what we are building in them here. They are beginning to realise that coding, for instance, is not difficult. It is mainly about interest and focus. It allows you to exhibit your creativity”, she explained.
“The results so far show that people in this locality (Ago-Palace/Okota) are very much interested in technology. Technology is now a global language and it has broken down walls and barriers such that nobody should be disadvantaged in acquiring digital skills”, the Pixaweb CEO said.
“We are open to partnerships. All this while we have been like lone-rangers; operating and teaching the kids without support. We have been doing this in the past five years. However, our solace is that the kids are showing great signs of knowledge and skills. Each time we finish a session I am happy. We have graduated over 1000 kids so far”.
A participant, Miss Onyeka Nmesoma whose team developed a game named ‘Danger Escape Game’, said in a chat with TechEconomy.ng that, “The classes have been fun and gainful. We have to prepare games. I got my inspiration from games that I play which I try to project in a story way. “The teachers have been awesome and from the classes I have gathered the insight that could help me push forward. I want to be a computer programmer.
Also the winner of this year’s challenge Akhere Usiholo, who developed a shooting and racing game was quite amazing. Check this out on their Instagram handle @techkidsnigeria.
Pixaweb Technologies Limited is a Nigerian incorporated company that has grown consistently since inception and today they offer a wide range of enterprise solutions such as mobile application development, IT & ICT training solutions; runs an Initiative that empower women and girls in technology, incubate and mentor young entrepreneurs and also create social impact in our community by solving problems using technology.