The ICT Teachers Association of Uganda (ITAU) has reached a new partnership with Africa Code Week to promote teaching of coding in schools.
There is a growing demand in developed nations for schools to teach children programming from an early age. This is because most parents believe that learning how to program at a young age sets up a child for a lifetime of success. In most developing countries, including Uganda, however, the earliest one is exposed to such is at university, in case they are pursuing a computer or information technology-related course.
Africa Code Week (ACW) is an initiative that seeks to empower young people and help give them skills they need to thrive in the digital age. Young boys and girls across Africa have an opportunity to gain skills in creating online programs through learning how to code. In the three years since ACW launched in 2015, the initiative has engaged over 4 million youth and 50,000 teachers on digital learning. The goal is to expand the impact to a further 2 million youth and 70,000 teachers by 2021.
Spearheaded by SAP in 2015 as part of its social investments to drive sustainable growth in Africa, Africa Code Week is a digital skills development initiative that has benefitted millions of young Africans so far. SAP, sometimes known by its full name Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing, is a German multinational software corporation that makes enterprise software to manage business operations and customer relations.
Since the launch of ACW in 2015, several countries including Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco and Tunisia have included digital literacy into their respective school curricula. This progressive adoption of digital skills into the school curriculum of several African countries points to the growing influence of educational initiatives such as ACW in preparing the continent’s youth for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
In Uganda, at the launch of Africa Code Week 2019 at Rubaga Girls school in October 2019, Prossy Wanyama, one of the Trainers at Mindset Coders Uganda noted that whereas the children in schools are very interested in learning coding, the biggest challenge is with the teachers who don’t see the relevance in teaching what is not examinable at UNEB.
Africa Code Week- Uganda has impacted over 10000+ students, 900+ trainers trained and impacted across the country with over 15 implementing partners on board since 2016.
Africa Code Week – Uganda’s training model involves training trainers, including school teachers and university students to facilitate student sessions at schools. Trainings are funded by several partners.
Strong partnerships with the public, private and non-profit sectors are the driving force behind the Africa Code Week’s ability to build teaching capacity across the continent in support of UN Sustainable Development Goals.
SAP and UNESCO are now joining forces with over 130 partners to:
- Multiply free coding workshops for youth across 37 countries;
- Build local teaching capacity through dedicated Train-the-Trainer sessions;
- Increase girl participation in ACW workshops;
- Grow Female Teachers Network to share best practices and facilitate girls’ access to digital education;
- Facilitate the adoption of digital / coding curricula for sustained impact on youth.
ITAU – ACW meeting
ITAU Executive members recently had a meeting with the Africa Code Week team in Uganda, led by Ms. Valentine Masicha Wafula, The Founder & CEO – MindSet Coders and Country Coordinator – Africa Code Week, and discussed how more teachers can be brought on board to extend ACW activities to their schools.
How ACW team would like ITAU to get involved
- Provide a platform for training primary and secondary ICT teachers during the Africa Code Week train trainer sessions in September. NB: Interested teachers can register through THIS FORM in advance.
- Sharing ACW training materials for teachers and parents on the ITAU online platforms
- Support contacting of ICT teachers or any teachers interested in coding to attend the online training sessions hosted by the ACW team
- Assist in bringing awareness of the benefits of coding to their network of schools and teachers.
2. Support the coordination for teachers to host coding sessions during the Africa Code Week student training sessions in October.
- For teachers who are trained in September to host coding sessions with their students
- Support in monitoring the total number of students trained by the teachers in order to know the overall number of students that participated
- Help ensure continuity of coding activities after ACW activities.
How will ITAU benefit
- Explore the ACW partner networks of local ICT/Tech companies that are involved in different tech activities and programs or projects.
- ACW training will offer capacity building of the teachers who are part of ITAU
- Supporting schools to initiate coding clubs easily with Scratch and Arduino Software
“We are excited that this initiative has started with the right stakeholders – the teachers we’ve always been looking for to have this move forward… Looking forward to ACW 2020, I think its going to be much bigger and better than all the other editions because we now have the right people on board along with other implementation partners we’ve been having. So this will make it much bigger, will reach a larger group of people as well as the teachers themselves, and also create the greatest awareness we need in terms of letting schools know that coding is important and a necessity or a tool that a child would need in this 21st Century.”Jovia Margaret Nanyonjo, ACW Team Uganda
Interested teachers can register through THIS FORM to be part of this program.
Article by Mukalele Rogers
National Coordinator – ITAU 2018-2020
0776960740 / 0706060740