TechGen Challenge: Rewarding technological innovation among school pupils

The TechGen Challenge may have come and gone but the indelible mark it leaves in the minds of participants from primary and secondary schools that their talents are appreciated and rewarded remains.

Participants who were mainly kids and teens had converged on Sureville Schools, Lekki, Lagos on the 26th of April, 2018. They were drawn from various schools and families within and outside Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital.

Its organisers, TechGen Africa said the goal of the programme was to encourage the penetration of technology further into the lives of African youngsters. In a build up to the event, the organisers had announced a call for applications before inviting successful applicants.

Founder and CEO of TechGen Africa, Sodiq Ade Balogun noted that the basic strategy Techgen had put in place stimulates young Africans at the early stage.

“Technological Innovation in Africa is still at infancy and there is a great need for us to deliberately join the global race, so that we can transit from our marginal to mainstream economy,” Mr Balogun said.

This innovation contest amongst kids and teens is not the only thing associated with the TechGen brand. Other packages include mentoring, Tech conferences, TechCamps, which are all for kids.

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The contestants in the Challenge were tested based on the We judged them based on their creativity, the social relevancy of their project, how roboust the app is, the presentation of their work and the source code.

Among the dozens of contenders at the 2018 innovation contest, winners emerged. Almond Junior School, represented by Fegor Orughele Presley took first place. In the first runner-up position is the Urang family represented by Bijou Urang. Urang is a student at Soteria School. Sureville School represented by Jomiloju Olawoyin was the second runner-up.

The audience got thrilled by the level of innovation brought forth by the kids.

As the Programme Coordinator of TechGen, Omale Emmanuel puts it, “I was blown away.”

While Soteria developed the Rat Chase app, Sureville project was the Flying cat. The winning project by Almond is an Animation.

Mr Balogun stated that the innovations showcased give hope for the future of technology in Africa.

“All of those incredible innovations give us hope about the future of Africa, especially when Kelu, a 7 year old boy from the Urang family presented the game he built, that moment was shocking and amazing!” he said.

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Commenting on the essence of the event, Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert and Founder of TeachTech-Hub Africa, Abdulazeez Hammed identified that the TechGen Challenge was going to improve the kids and teens in critical thinking and problem solving while also enhancing their 21st century skills in preparation for the world of work. He commended TechGen for a job well done.

“It’s been wonderful and amazing having this kind of tech challenge for kids. The kids have done pretty much well by creating those amazing game applications with coding.

“Coding improves students’ creativity, critical thinking, real world problem solving, collaboration and communication skills. This is a great way to build and support 21st Century skills required in today’s work environment.

“TechGen Africa is doing a very great job on this part, not only in Nigeria but Africa at large and it is amazing organizing this fantastic TechChallenge event. Schools are encouraged to get their students to keep participating in this program,” Mr Hammed stated.

The event was also graced by the CEO of SchoolCompass Nigeria, Yomi Ojo, and Founder of Morphgen.ng, Nnaemeka Nweje, among other like minds.

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