Dear students, parents and non-scientists

SHARE   |   Saturday, 18 April 2020   |   By Ricardo Kanono
Dear students, parents and non-scientists

Ndaba Gaolathe

For those who are lazy readers, please proceed directly to paragraphs 5, 6, 10, 11, 12, and 15. The more progressive citizens are welcome to proceed with to the letter in wholesome.

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Students,

I am sorry that your school term was unexpectedly interrupted and so was your learning programme. This is not a train smash, and it may well turn out to work in your favour. It is an opportunity to teach yourself more than you probably would have under normal circumstances. It is also an opportunity for you to learn subjects that may not be readily available at school.

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I know many of you do not have access to the internet, I am sorry about that; but I hope those who are fortunate to have access, consider enrolling on some really good online courses, across many disciplines. Many or should I say enough of the courses are free of charge.

I encourage you to teach yourself basic computer programming. You don’t have to be a scientist or a computer “nurd” to learn this skill and apply it productively in almost every discipline.

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What computing can do for you

Even the most basic programming skills empower you to automate your workflow - journalists can automate their news feeds so they only receive news on the topics they need, and therefore be efficient and quicker in their work, managers can create their own processes to monitor progress of their tasks, researchers can capture and analyse data more efficiently, entrepreneurs can automate business plan writing and so on; you can even create your own websites. In other words, anyone who is a programmer thrives even under “lockdown”, they are not anxious about ”the day of freedom”, and they are able to make a good living in all circumstances.

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I recommend that you all teach yourself one of the more well used programming languages, particularly Python or Javascript. If you wish to be more specialised there is always C plus, Julia, R and others. You also need to learn how to operate with basic databases, and internet technology in general.

There are many courses online, many of them free including at these websites: edEx, Coursera, PVTuts, Udacity, Udemy, Free Code Camp, DataCamp, online-learning.harvard.edu and Khan Academy. Khan Academy is particularly good for high school and primary school students wishing to pursue other subjects such as mathematics.

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Parents

These courses possess the power to reinvent yourselves as well. When the “corona” is over, the new normal will sure be different from the old normal. You need to reinvent yourself, and arm your intellect and skills resource base in such a way that you are comfortable to change jobs, switch your entrepreneurial focus or move to higher operating ground in what you are already doing.

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The more you arm yourself, the more you will have no reason to allow fear to grip you - if anything, you should be looking forward to how much more innovative you are intending to be once the house chains as unlocked.

Please do me a favour - open this world of learning to your children, nephews, nieces and younger siblings. What a marvellous opportunity for them to learn how to learn on their own.

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I also recommend that you start reading voraciously from the free book library at www.pdfdrive website. There is history, philosophy, economics, physics, medicines, astronomy, politics, law, cookery, travel, aviation, theology, film, oceanology, sports - everything under the sun.

Non scientists

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I am warning you, that this mentality you entertain, that you are not a scientist and not willing to be “geekish” or that you do not have a scientific mind is going to cost you immense flexibility. I am warning you about your other excuses, many of them, “..kana nna, ga ke a.., kana ba bangwe ba bone…”You are going to miss out on opportunity to participate in the mainstream of the economy. Please take up the readings in 5, 6 and 10 for your own empowerment.

If your don’t believe

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Just so you know I have taken some of these courses myself, and for certain I do programme mainly in Python. It has greatly enhanced my technical work, and there are things you will get to know about my professional (non political) work in due course, it cuts across disciplines.

If we do do not empower ourselves, then it means we are planning to be welfare nation now and in the future. If we do not empower ourselves we will forever become bitter, and blame even those who achieve great feats for corruption. Those who are truly empowerment do not need favours, they will always shine in all circumstances and in all jurisdictions.

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Do contact me, if you wish

Those parents and students that are serious about following up on this path, please feel to send me mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with questions or inquiries or just needing guidance. I share all my mails with my very capable analyst Rre Morena, who is an able scientist in his own right. Please do not send inboxes because my inbox is a little clogged up, and I may never get to see your mail.

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Anyone who wishes to appoint with me after the “corona” will only be granted a meeting if they present evidence of a book they have read over the lockdown period or a course they have done during that time.

Finally, I will have an instalment for entrepreneurs, hawkers, woman businesspersons, and other segments of our nation in due course.

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Best wishes,

Ndaba Gaolathe,

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Modisa-wa-letsomane, herdboy



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