At a STEM Bootcamp, NITDA trains and empowers 300 children.

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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) on Saturday graduated more than 300 kids trained at the STEM Bootcamp for Kids (SB4KIDS) in Lagos.

Mallam Kashifu Inuwa, the Director General, NITDA speaking at the closing ceremony said that the emergence of the event was aimed at bridging the gap that currently exists in the educational sector.

Inuwa said that the STEM Bootcamp for Kids triggers NITDA’s interest and resonates deeply with the ongoing efforts toward implementing the National Digital economy policy for digital Nigeria.

Inuwa was represented by Mrs Jumoke Alaka, Manager, South West Zonal office, NITDA.

He said that NITDA’s mandate is to create a framework for the planning, research, development, and standardization application, coordination, monitoring, evaluation and regulation of Information Technology practices in Nigeria.

According to him, NITDA remains committed to supporting campaigns to diversify the country’s economy from a resource-based to a knowledge-based one through Information Technology (IT).

“We are indeed proud to be part of this event. “It is my pleasure to introduce to you the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR), the arm of NITDA meant to drive R&D and innovation in the areas of emerging technologies.

“NCAIR is one of NITDA’s special purpose vehicles created to promote research and development on emerging technologies and their practical application in areas of Nigeria’s national interest,’’ he said.

According to him, Kids across the spectrums of the society were trained by NCAIR, a training organ of NITDA on Coding, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Drone.

Inuwa said that kids were also trained on Digital Communications, Embedded Systems, the Internet of Things (IoT), Virtual Reality, and 3D requisite skill-set for the 4th Industrial Revolution.

The DG said that as an NCAIR’s catch-them-young initiative, the SB4KIDS is a Bootcamp to inspire young Nigerians in STEM.

He said that through the SB4Kids, NCAIR engages youngsters between the age of 8 and 16 years in an immersive and well-articulated Bootcamp.

According to him, the STEM Bootcamp was meant to coach and inspire youngsters to imbibe STEM passion and create an early interest in digital and emerging technologies.

Inuwa said that the technologies would hopefully shape the children’s future careers in these fields.

He said that NITDA SB4Kids is a yearly initiative conducted during the summer school holidays.

According to him, NITDA SB4KIDS has trained over 200 participants which will broaden the minds of children in critical thinking and high sense of curiosity in science and digital technology.

He said that the early involvement in technology and innovation would accelerate the development of the IT sector and create future leaders who will transform the Nigerian technology space and boost Nigerian Digital Economy.

Soji Megbwun, co-founder, Community Innovation hub said that the hub where kids are picked from the street and trained on technology as training partners for NITDA.

He said that the curriculum was designed by NITDA to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal and the training was for two weeks.

Mr. Mayowa Ajiboye, Partner, TEF Community Innovation Hub appreciated NITDA for bringing the training to Alimosho Local Government Area, a suburb of Lagos state where they are underserved in technology.

He said that the kids have been impacted. Oluwadamilola Davies, a native of the Community Innovation hub developed a Smart Walker which enables the virtually impaired people to detect danger and improve their lives.

Davies said that the project reflects the Sustainable Development goal3 which is good health and well-being and one reducing inequality.

Ajibola Daniel, 11 years old, talked about his project, cartoon animator to project the sustainable development goal of ‘no poverty’.

Ajibola said that the cartoon animator would help educate people how to reduce wastefulness.

More than 10 children with outstanding projects were awarded with laptops and more than 200 others certified.