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Some school girls in the Ajegunle area of Lagos state, who had never touched a computer before, let alone operated it, have now undergone a computer training,
saying it would be one of the most delightful things that had happened to them.
The first day they entered the only computer laboratory in Ajegunle, Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government Area of Lagos State, to learn coding, they were all very scared to touch the computer.
Their fear was not unusual — about 70 per cent of them had never touched a computer
before, let alone operated it. It would be the very first time they would have access to one.
But six weeks after, the girls had not only learnt how to operate a computer, they had also learnt how to code.
According to a Lagos-based Information and Communications Technology expert,
Mrs. Olusola Oladeji, although computers are amazing, they cannot think for themselves,
hence they require people to give them instructions.
“So basically, coding is a list of step-by-step instructions that get computers to do what
you want them to do. Coding makes it possible for us to create computer software, games, applications and websites,” she said.
“Also, coders, also known as programmers, are people who write the programmes
behind everything we see and do on a computer.”
Weeks after they have learnt coding, the girls, dressed in pink tops emblazoned with
the words, “This girl can code,” told a correspondent that programming would be one of the most delightful things that had happened to them since they were born.
“I never knew I could be a coder; I didn’t know what it meant until some weeks ago,” said one of the girls, Mmesoma Joseph.
The 13-year-old was one of the 60 girls in Ajegunle trained by Anuoluwapo Adelakun and Jerry Odili, who are both 2016 fellows
of the United States Consulate General- sponsored Carrington Youth Fellowship Initiative in Lagos.
The fellowship, a year-long programme, was designed to enable 20 Nigerian youths to
develop their leadership skills and
implement projects that have social impact.
Adelakun and Odili, who were on the same team, said they both had passion for the education of the girl child, hence when they
were to choose which project to work on during their fellowship year, it was not difficult for them to choose to train young
girls on ICT.
“The fact that the future is technologically- driven is undeniable and girls need to be
trained as they are often the neglected ones,” Odili, a graduate of Computer Science from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun
Adelakun said their choice of doing the training in Ajegunle was because it would be more impactful to train girls in remote
communities who don’t have access to facilities that girls in nicer neighbourhoods have.
Ajegunle, a renowned slum in Lagos, has produced notable footballers and musicians
in the country, among whom are a former striker for the Super Eagles and former coach of the same team, Samson Siasia;
Biodun Obende, who plays professionally in Finland; a former striker for Watford, England, Odion Ighalo; a former Super Eagles defender, Taribo West; and Emmanuel Amuneke, a former African Footballer of the
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