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Microsoft’s ADC to review universities’ tech curriculum

by kenya-tribune

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 2 – The Microsoft Africa Development Centre has unveiled plans to collaborate with Kenyan technology universities to review their curriculums and make them more relevant to industry needs as the centre ramps up its digital skilling efforts in the country.

As part of the program, the ADC has partnered with the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), to review its Computer Science degree programme.

The programme is part of the ADC’s larger agenda to contribute to the Digital Transformation Strategy for Africa, which aims to harness digital technologies and innovation to transform African societies and economies by 2030.

The initiative also aims to address identified skill gaps in software engineering students during technical interviews, particularly in software engineering fundamentals.

“The ADC is running multiple initiatives to improve the tech talent pipeline starting from primary school all the way to working to improve the skills of practicing professionals. As part of the skilling drive, the ADC is looking to improve tech-based curricular within local institutions of higher learning so as to reduce the skills gap between classrooms and the workplace,” says Irene Githinji, the ADC’s Student & Education Engagement Program Manager.

While players in the technology sector are constantly on the lookout for new talent, they are frequently unable to hire directly from universities because students are mostly armed with theoretical knowledge at the expense of much-needed application skills in software engineering fundamentals.

Furthermore, a need has been identified to transition from paper examination to online assessment, as most students have never sat for coding exams via online assessment, as evidenced when they sit for the ADC’s coding interviews.

“Students pursuing STEM related courses will benefit from the new curriculum because they will have access to updated resources, courses, and assessments. Additionally, updated curriculums with industry input will help students gain hands-on tech skills that will be useful throughout their tech careers,” said Githinji.

The Digital Transformation Strategy for Africa aims to provide a massive online e-skills development program to 100 million Africans per year by 2021, and 300 million per year by 2025, to provide basic knowledge and skills in digital security and privacy.

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The initiative is led and owned by African institutions and is intended to be embedded in African realities while unleashing the African spirit of enterprise and creativity to generate homegrown digital content and solutions while embracing what is good and relevant.

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