Next week, NewTechKids will be hosting a delegation of primary school students from Lagos, Nigeria in Amsterdam. We’re hosting the bootcamp at Metis Montessori Lyceum Amsterdam, a high school with specialized coding and design/technology academic tracks.

We’ll be teaching a 1.5 day bootcamp during which we’ll introduce them to programming in the context of automation and give them hands-on programming experience with a variety of physical computing and robotics tools.

We interviewed Kemi Soetan, Skyways Travels and Tours‘ Managing Director, about why her company chose NewTechKids, what she hopes the children will learn, and how Amsterdam and the Netherlands serve as inspiration for Nigeria.

Tell us about Skyways Travels and Tours Limited. What does your company do?  How does it promote international education?

Skyways Travels and Tours Limited is a full-service travel agency that specializes in domestic and international group travel for educational, leisure, and professional goals. We call it our ‘Education-Through-Travel’ program. Skyways works with inbound and outbound groups to deliver customized packages to achieve their travel objectives in a cost-effective manner. Each trip is specially packaged to deliver a unique perspective of the chosen destination, and provide an unforgettable educational experience to the participants.

Why did you approach NewTechKids to develop and teach a programming bootcamp in Amsterdam for your students? What benefits do you hope your students will gain?

Teaching children programming and getting the best out of them requires not just the programming skills but also the patience and creativity to successfully engage them. We wanted an organization that focused on teaching children and could deliver the required value in the available time. NewTechKids fit the bill and we look forward to the students learning some programming skills and being inspired to explore the subject further in future.

Why is it important for African children to learn about technology and programming? Tell us about the need for for professionals with technology expertise in Nigeria.

Every facet of the world today is powered by technology and it is imperative that our students achieve their full potential and compete effectively with their peers worldwide. The need for technology in Nigeria cannot be overemphasized in view of the extensive resources that need to be harnessed and the large population that needs to be managed. NewTechKids’ technology bootcamp is one of the many channels through which we hope to trigger student interest and engage them at a young age.

Describe the students coming to NewTechKids’ bootcamp.

We have a group of almost 50, year-six students mostly aged 10-11 from Corona Schools, Ikoyi and Gbagada. The Corona Schools group is comprised of eight schools and was established in 1955 to provide world-class education with high moral and ethical values. Skyways is proud to have offered our ‘Education-Through-Travel’ programs to Corona Schools for more than 10 years now.

Why is your group visiting Amsterdam? What appeals to you about the city?

Amsterdam and the Netherlands in general have accomplished much through technology that has made this land below sea level livable and prosperous. We consider this to be an excellent message that is worth sharing with our students.