We all must not be PHDs to make it in life, so such initiatives as Robot-making will promote scientific entrepreneurship in Africa. The genius ACI institution is making a resounding difference in the Nigerian educational system by taking up the responsibility of training 10, 000 students in innovative science and technology. Up to the tertiary level, most Nigerians constantly blurt out their disappointment in the “all-theory” and lesser practical band wagon. Unfortunately mere theories are not enough; theories only make sense when there is a practical attachment to it. In other words, practicals give flesh to theories and if disregarded as is the case in most Nigerian institutions, the education circle will be as incomplete as ineffective. This is perhaps why there has been a recent upsurge in robot-making in Nigeria.
Education in Africa is of utmost concern and hinged on it is the potential of the children, the leaders of tomorrow. In line with this fact ACI computer education has found a way not just to prove the worth of Nigerian children/youth but has also found the means to make them technologically up to date and skilled as well. ACI is a non-profit educational institution focused on Lego-robotics and founded by Olaoluwa Balogun.
As a mission, they have set out since September, 2015 to train thousands of children and youth in the quintessential elements involved in making robots, software development, graphics and animation. Balogun started the ACI computer education as an undergraduate of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Nigeria, in 2011. A couple of African child prodigies have towed this line, however, it is refreshing to see the trend more institutionalized. ACI organizes boot camps and clubs in various educational institutions, accommodates a stunning 80% of females and also makes the programme open to children at orphanages.
Reports have it that the training will be done in 200 schools across Nigeria, starting off from the west, with the vision of training about 10, 000 children for free. The programme which is scheduled to last from September 2015 till April 2016, is also intended to be introduced in 10 Nigerian Universities. As a non-profit, the indiegogo.com website has been set up to raise a $150, 000 fund for the running of the programme. ACI is an education format that is “result-centric, not certificate-centric“; practically makes the students abreast and equipped for a constantly growing tech- world by spurring up tech-creativity.
The modern African child without at least one identifiable skill is an unprepared African, thus, this will serve as a worthy alternative for those who may not fancy or afford the regular educational institutions; it can also be a potential remedy to the cases of unemployment. A scientific forum like this will help in balancing the content of the student’s brain and the works of their hands.