Winners have emerged in the maiden edition of the CodeLagos competition tagged the “Lagos Code Week”. The competition, which was organised by the Lagos State Ministry of Education brought together secondary school students in both public and private schools across the state.
The competitiors were divided into groups of three to develop something using progamming languages. Preliminaries of the contest were held in the six education districts of Lagos State between Monday and Wednesday before the final on Thursday.
In the Junior category, a team from Whitesand School, Lekki got the top prize. The first runner-up was Lagos State Model College, Badore while Methodist Girls High School, Yaba was the Second runner-up.
For the Senior category, Lagos State Model College, Kankon won. It was followed by Whitesand School, Lekki and Supreme Education Foundation High School, Magodo.
Team members from three top winning schools in each category got a tablet each as well as other prizes from the corporate sponsors of the competition.
Aside that, their teachers, otherwise called facilitators, got various cash prizes. The facilitators of the first prize winners got a 50,000 naira each.
For the first runners-up, it was 35,000 naira for the facilitators. The facilitators of the second runners-up went home with 25,000 naira each.
Also, the principals of all the top school teams got a plaque and a phone as an incentive for leading their schools to be victorious.
Government committed to making students take coding seriously
Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Education, Obafela Bank-Olemoh who described CodeLagos as the “largest edutech initiative in Africa” told EduCeleb.com that the government has been able to make students take coding seriously.
“We are trying to ensure that Lagosians can learn this. (That includes) both Lagosians that are in school and the ones out of school.”
According to Mr Bank-Olemoh, it is about preparing Lagosians for the future through technologically-driven innovations.
“That is the mandate government gave us – to prepare Lagos for the future through technology. It shows that the future of Lagos, which is going to be technologically-driven is guaranteed.”
“There is a boom in construction industry in Nigeria but we have few of our citizens taking advantage of that. The CodeLagos will ensure that when the technology comes, we have people within our local economy that can take advantage of it.”
Speaking on the value CodeLagos is adding to the lives of participants, the Tutor-General and Permanent Secretary of Education District 2, Lola Are-Adegbite identified it as an opportunity for students to learn more.
“Children are getting knowledge. They are thinking outside the box. They tell you they want to practice all the time. It is preparing them to learn more.”
She associated the challenge of insufficient teachers with the CodeLagos initiative and noted that nongovernmental organisations have been coming to the aid of government in that regard.
“You cannot leave it for the government alone. The more we have these people that are helping us, I believe the sky is the beginning for us.
Participants speak about coding
Some of the participants in CodeLagos competition shared with EduCeleb.com some insights of what they love about it.
One of the winners, Afolabi Williams of Whitesand school said he was happy to be rewarded with gifts after winning.
Williams’ team developed three projects out of which two were presented. One was a quiz programme, which rewards the player for getting answers correctly and deducts from their scores once they have wrong answers. The other was a scating game requiring players to reach an end without touching some corners.
“I really like to work hard so that I can enjoy the fruit of my labour. It fills me with so much happiness collecting gifts like I did.”
The 12 year old who hopes to study coding in the future said “there is no secret to success except to work hard.”
Osita Eric of Longford International School said that when he started learning to code, it seemed difficult but later turned out to be easy.
“At first, when trying to code, it looks difficult but it later on gets simple and very easy.”
The 16 year old Senior School 2 student said he is currently using his knowledge acquired through the programme to build an advance game,
Another student, Claire Iwelumo who attends Holy Child College who has mastered the programming language Python hopes to learn other programming languages and make the best of them.
She said that her team had been able to create a game, an ATM and a currency converter through the knowelege acquired through CodeLagos.
Miss Iwelumo advised her colleagues to be persistent in learning as it would be worth the time.
“They should keep doing what they are doing. They should be passionate be passionate about coding and do what they love. This is something that can be pursued for the future. We should try to learn more everyday.”
EduCeleb.com reports that the 337 schools that participated in the competition have regular coding classes from Monday to Thursday weekly. Aside them, 12 out of school centres have been set aside for persons not currently in school.
The state government hopes to have up to 1million Lagos residents who can code, a goal which Bank-Olemoh said should reach 150,000 Lagosians by the end of the year.
In order to achieve that, the government is billed to expand the centres to 1500 schools by September. Centres also would be opened in all tertiary institutions in Lagos, according to the education adviser.