The federal government has reiterated its commitment to digital literacy and skill development, through its Build-A-Thon initiative, organised by the Federal Ministry of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy.
The initiative, aimed at introducing senior secondary school students to embedded systems and maker culture, was held across three Nigerian cities, Owerri, Maiduguri, and Abeokuta.
According to a statement, made available to The Guardian, during the four-day event, which ran simultaneously in all locations, students engaged in hands-on learning experiences while learning skills such as the use of Raspberry Pi, embedded systems, Artificial Intelligence, and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Organised in partnership with the UK-based NGO Raspberry Pi Foundation and supported by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the initiative aims to equip 1,500 students with skills needed to stimulate critical thinking and promote teamwork through dynamic technology collaboration.
The Build-A-Thon also provided a diverse learning ecosystem comprising technology labs, DIY boxes, and workshops. This multifaceted approach endowed students with practical insights and real-world applications of the skills they acquired during the programme.
Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani, stated that the Build-A-Thon nurtures innovation and aligns with their commitment to digital education.
He said: “We are very proud of the outcome of the Build-A-Thon which is the largest known Raspberry Pi makerthon. The innovative prototype projects created within four days by the participating schools serve to reinforce our belief that investing in the youth today will pave the way for a more technologically advanced and innovative Nigeria tomorrow.”
“I am delighted to announce that this initiative seamlessly connects with our ongoing Code Clubs, a collaborative effort with the Raspberry Pi Foundation. These Code Clubs, spanning 17 locations in Nigeria, are part of a global movement dedicated to putting the power of computing and digital making into the hands of young minds worldwide.”
Some of the programmed prototypes built by the students were smart homes, speedboats, automated parking lot, heartbeat monitor, robotic hands designed for the disabled, digital timer alarm systems, coin bank, electric car, smart doors, machines designed to alert the blind, deaf and mute when in danger, aircraft, Bluetooth speakers, and various other innovative prototypes.
In Owerri, Comprehensive Secondary School, Avu, won the ‘Best Overall Project’ for their prototype of a functional speedboat for recreational water activities and a rechargeable fan and light, serving as a dual-purpose solution for students studying at night.