Digital Schoolhouse

[From the Industry] Digital Schoolhouse initiative goes global with Nigerian partnership

This is a press release directly from the industry, selected by our editorial team for its importance, that we are reposting in addition to our usual coverage.

Digital Schoolhouse, Ukie’s flagship computing programme, has gone international for the first time ever this academic year.

Digital Schoolhouse (DSH), a UK-based programme which uses play-based learning to engage the next generation of pupils and teachers, has partnered with Kucheza Gaming to deliver Computer Science lessons to young people in Nigeria from September. 

Originally seed-funded by the Mayor of London’s Schools of Excellence fund and delivered by the UK game trade body Ukie, the not-for-profit DSH has now reached 86,000 pupils across the country and seeks to replicate its impact by introducing games-centric resources and ‘unplugged’ activities (requiring no technology) to young people in Nigeria.

Kucheza Gaming is an Africa focused esports and games company for ages 6 -18 years which harnesses “play” as a force for youth development and empowerment in Africa. Reflected by their namesake “Kucheza” – a Swahili word meaning “play” or “to play” – the organisation demonstrates a new level of value in gaming,

Educating young people through esports sparked the collaboration, where alongside DSH, Kucheza Gaming successfully deployed their own esports tournament in Lagos earlier this year. Drawing interest from the likes of Nickelodeon and the BBC, the tournament fuelled appetite for more curriculum-based activities to improve digital skills and spotlight careers opportunities in Nigeria. 

Going forwards, this partnership will provide Nigerian pupils with access to meaningful opportunities that enable digital skills development and showcase a breadth of related careers in tandem. Plans include an international game jam for UK and Nigerian schools which is hoped to facilitate a rich cultural exchange of knowledge and skills.

Bukola Akingbade, founder and CEO of Kucheza Gaming said:

“Creative industries have a pivotal role to play in building future digital skills in a continent like Africa. With an average age of 19.5 years, the continent is home to the world’s youngest population and this trend will continue to accelerate. 

The widening gap between population growth and education deserves increased attention and resolution, and we believe that this partnership with Digital Schoolhouse will allow us to reach more African children through esports and computing.”

Shahneila Saeed, head of education at Ukie and director of Digital Schoolhouse said:

“We’re thrilled to have Kucheza Gaming on board to make our dream of rolling out the programme internationally, a reality.

Since our inception, the programme has received support from industry heavyweights to enable major impact in UK schools. Through this partnership, we hope to continue to use play-based learning to upskill and empower young people in Africa – the youngest and fastest growing continent.” 

About Seth Barton

Seth Barton is the editor of MCV – which covers every aspect of the industry: development, publishing, marketing and much more. Before that Seth toiled in games retail at Electronics Boutique, studied film at university, published console and PC games for the BBC, and spent many years working in tech journalism. Living in South East London, he divides his little free time between board games, video games, beer and family. You can find him tweeting @sethbarton1.

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