My drive to set up coding clubs in schools is driven by the desire to expose our children to the magic that computer programming is. The rest of the world is doing it, why not us? In the United states, there is a movement to introduce computer science into the school curriculum early and treating computer languages as a literacy skill. Through non-profit organisations like code.organd the use of visual programming tools like MIT’s scratch, kids are introduced to programming logic very early on in their development stage.
Research shows that cognitive abilities are greatly improved and grades in other subjects are improved through teaching children computer programming. The kids learn important skills of problem solving, team work, breaking down complex abstract concepts into smaller understandable chunks.
In Africa we definitely still have issues of high internet prices and poor infrastructure but it can only get better in the short term with initiatives like Google’s project link and Facebooks project. Building a generation of knowledge workers is very crucial for our economies to grow. Skilled computer programmers have an advantage of working remotely, so government initiatives like business process outsourcing can greatly benefit from a skilled homegrown skilled workforce of developers. Through introducing coding clubs in schools the kids get exposed to endless possibilities.
The fact that the barrier to entry into this field is so low is even more reason. You only need a computer and an internet connection and you pretty much have everything you need to be as creative as you can possibly be. You are only limited by your imagination.
By their nature kids are inquisitive and creative until we adults beat it out of them, so introducing new concepts early is important. Kids today are much more exposed than we were growing up and they are interfacing with technology daily. Teaching them to be creators of technology and not just consumers is a worthwhile endeavour that Therailsshop is ready to take on by starting these coding clubs in schools.
Through the coding clubs we go through the freecodecamp curriculum online; a well-known programming path. Through the program we build projects and the kids get digital certificates from freecodecamp. The training is project based and offers practical skills through building real-life programs that are used by people. I don’t plan to stop there though; the idea is to build a community of developers that collaborates and continues to grow together professionally long after they have left school.
The dream is to build relationships through the coding clubs; lifetime relationships that are built around the same cause; there is nothing more powerful than that. The community will continue to grow through collaborative tools we are building at Therailsshop. Community members will be able to help each other solve technical problems, work on projects together and recommend each other for jobs where they think a community member is qualified.
When a community of like-minded people comes together nothing can stop them from achieving their goals. Our children will benefit, and the ripple effect will go deeper into communities and ultimately build a country that produces knowledge and not one that just consumes it. Through Therailsshop, I will continue to make my small contribution through coding clubs in schools and during the holidays through holiday coding sessions.
Call me(+256752969844), email me(email@example.com) and let’s talk about your child attending. Lobby the school your child attends to start a coding club. Start community coding clubs in your communities, I’m more than willing to come and set them up. Bring your child to our holiday sessions. Let’s not let our kids lag, it’s imperative on us to pave a way for them, for our communities and ultimately for our country.
FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY.