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Digital literacy initiative benefits students

SHARE   |   Wednesday, 17 October 2018   |   By Bakani Mosojane
Mooketsi Tekere Mooketsi Tekere

With the nation currently facing a poor standard of educational system that ‘churns’ out ill equipped youth for the workforce of the future, a ‘glimmer of hope’ seems to be on the horizon for our future leaders facilitated by the recent introduction of the innovative learning process known as coding.

There are four contemporary pillars of learning, mainly listening, speaking , reading and writing .Coding is the new ABC of learning and is an intrinsic aspect of bringing today learners into the new age modern learning methodology that equips the student of today with the digital skills. This new digital language is fundamental to the new tech era that will be characteristic of the future. Students in the Francistown vicinity and others in the South East region will this week have the privilege of being empowered as well as having digital literacy and coding skills instilled in them , courtesy of Africa Code Week, a digital educational initiative that will be running across the African continent. In Botswana, in collaboration with a German based European multinational software corporation, Ngwana Entreprises became an implementing partner for African coded week several years ago. This digital skills development initiative was spearheaded by a German based European multinational known as SAP as early as 2015,with Ngwana Enterprises coming on board this project with the first coding sessions held in Francistown.

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Ngwana Enterprises is a local company owned by Mooketsi Tekere. According to  Tekere, Ngwana Enterprises has a Memorandum Of understanding to facilitate the training of teachers and working in concert with them to transfer coding skills across Botswana to students in various schools. The current Africa Code Week will run from the 8th to the 22nd October. Schools in the Francistown region that are participating in the Africa Code Week initiative include Ntshe Primary School, Satellite Primary School Setlalekgosi CJSS and Mmei C.J.S.S amongst others. In the past over 5 000 teachers and 26 000 students have benefitted from training in the coding initiative. In 2017, six coding clubs were opened in partnership with schools in Francistown to impart digital skills to students. At the time, schools involved in this process were Setlalekgosi CJSS, Selepa CJSS, Mahube PrimarySchool, Phatlhogo Primary School and Satellite, all learning institutions located in the Francistown vicinity.

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Apart from creating a nexus for young learners into the digital world and exposing students to computer science, coding also has the advantage of imparting myriad skills acquisition to the young leaner. These include teaching children to think creatively, allowing for the young leaner to reason systematically and amongst other reasons, allows for the young mind to learn critical problem solving skills. According to the C.E.O of of Ngwana Enterprises Tekere, ‘’The coding concept is a new language which every child needs to be fluent in.’’ Tekere continued by adding, ‘’That these trainings are intended to introduce coding skills to youth for them to be the next innovators, as well as not only introducing digital skills, but to also create employment by raising up the next creators and innovators who are equipped for the highly tech centric world of tomorrow.’’ “This year, the aim is to reach more than 100 000 youth with digital skills,” Tekere further added. Hopefully, if facilitated properly, and if orchestrated with diligence and consistency, the Africa Code Week, will go a long in eradicating digital illiteracy in Africa, and this initiative will impact positively On Batswana children’s lives as well as the lives of the African child and youth at various phases of their education from primary to tertiary. With the continuation of this initiative, of having regular Africa Code Weeks and coding sessions, instilling digital literacy and coding skills in the young generation will result in a sustainable, positive learning impact across Africa.



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