Serious-minded young persons in Nigeria are making strides and waves to the extent of winning the confidence of investors in their schemes even in the face of doubts on Nigerian youths.
Now, an start-up which has worked hard in the high tech sub-sector, 9jacodekids, has broken barriers.
According to the founder and chief executive officer of 9jacodekids, Ugochukwu Nkwocha, the firm has just raised seed fund of $350,000 from an angel investor, Bolaji Balogun, as part of the Ultima Lions’ Den Season 2 reality TV show.
He told BusinessDay in an exclusive interview that this is to help 9jacodekids in its expansion across Nigeria. “We have many parents and clients out there that have desired for us to come to their cities but due to lack of funds, we have not been able to meet their demands.
“Now, we can inject more funds to, spread out, boost capacity and ensure more children have access to coding skills.’
He said the firm has worked hard over the years and that they have distinguished themselves as a credible firm doing great things. “We are legit and people have tested and tasted us. You can trust your kids with us.
“Those itching to have us in their cities can now have us due to new funding that has come in.”
Explaining what 9jacodekids Academy does, Nkwocha said; “We teach children between ages four and 16 everything about Coding, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and 21st-century Tech Skills in general that have relevance to their future. The world is now run on technology and software.”
He said in 2014, schools in countries like the USA, and the UK started teaching coding in schools for young pupils of about five years. Some schools in the USA now make it a compulsory subject just like English and Maths.
“They have made it such that, you must have a minimum of credit in coding and computer science before you are allowed to graduate secondary school. In Nigeria, it should be incorporated into the school curriculum but unfortunately, it is not.
“So we as a tech firm have come in to fill the gap. Many parents know about this need because they travel abroad and see it. They wonder whether they must have to send their little children abroad just for this critical knowledge. They want to see it done in Nigeria as they see other students their children’s age build games, mobile apps, robots, and websites. Now, they can have that same opportunity with 9jacodekids.”
He admitted that Nigerian schools teach computer classes, but that is what not what 9jacodekids teaches. “Yes, Nigerian schools only teach elementary computer, what we call Computer Appreciation.
They try to teach them basics such as; what is a computer, how to turn it on, the parts of a computer, etc. While these are important, they are too elementary. My own six-year-old daughters already knew these elementary things without learning them in a classroom.
Kids already tinker with computers at home and learn the basics without going to school. At 9jacodekids Academy, we are going beyond the basics of what is a computer.
We now teach the fundamentals of computer science that will equip kids to create their own technology rather than being just consumers.”
The CEO issued his popular quote thus: “Giving your child tech skills in the 21st century is not a luxury or just a nice thing to do. It’s critical and essential to their success in a world dominated by computers, software, AI (artificial intelligence) and robots.”