Coding for Primary School Students: Now Available in Rural Mpumalanga

Good Work Foundation (GWF) and Change the World Trust recently introduced coding to GWF’s Open Learning Academy syllabus for pupils from rural-based schools in South Africa’s Mpumalanga province. This is the first time that teachers and students from this school district, close to the Kruger National Park, have had the opportunity to interact and learn about coding, one of the 21st century’s most important (and exciting) skills sets.

“It is high time that the importance of Information Technology (IT) in our everyday lives is recognised and acknowledged. Teachers need to change their attitude towards technology and adopt the 21st century learning skills that promote enhanced communication, collaboration, critical thinking as well as creativity and innovation,” said Mr Deon van Vuuren of the Department of Education at the launch. “Teachers and learners must break the habit of always being on the receiving end of information and start producing information. Coding and computational thinking is the key to achieving this,” added van Vuuren.

The two day event at GWF’s Hazyview Digital Learning Campus (HDLC) put teachers back at the desk as they worked alongside their grade five learners exploring computer programming and coding, both on paper and computers.

The school learners cracked a binary code within 15 minutes on the opening day (a code that took teachers a good 30 minutes to crack) and van Vuuren noted that “the younger generation are ‘digital natives’ who are self-taught in technology and ‘get it’ but we need to help them develop that passion and skillset.”

GWF has added coding to Open Learning Academy Plus (a programme for rural primary school children who are interested in extra-curricular learning such as programming, music, poetry and lego). Selby Mokoena, an Open Learning Academy Plus facilitator, had taken interest in coding prior to this launch and had qualified with certificates for coding in 2015. Selby will be facilitating Open Learning Plus, extending the “computational thinking” journey of GWF’s participating learners.

GWF extends its thanks to the Mpumalanga Department of Education for supporting this event, and also thanks Natalie Emery, David Silva and Faith Muyengwa from Change the World Trust.

The Open Learning Academy is a Rand Water Foundation sponsored project.

He truly believe that one hour can change your life,that is why he confident tell everybody how.

GWF Open Learning Academy Coordinator Crispen Bvumghe is one of the believers of education revolution in rural areas, and couldn’t be more excited about programming being added to the Open Learning syllabus.

Natalie Emery, she is explaining all the details about Hour of Code in the rural area at HDLC

Natalie Emery , co-founder of Hour of Code highlights on the importance of coding and computer programming as well as the high demand for computer programmers worldwide, the more reason these young learners should learn about computer science.

After studying very hard about the HOUR of Code they have received certificate for it. And they were so happy about it..

Natalie Emery from Hour of Code  handed out certificates of participation to all the teachers, principals, Good Work Foundation facilitators and learners who participated during the launch.

Principals and teachers from the eight various schools that participate in the Open Learning Academy Learned how to code during the two-day launch of Hour of Code at the Hazyview hub.

Principals and teachers from the eight various schools that participate in the Open Learning Academy Learned how to code during the two-day launch of Hour of Code at the Hazyview hub.

Non of these teachers thought they would found themselves in the very same classroom learning

None of these teachers ever thought that they would find themselves back in the classroom learning and actually enjoying it, after so many years of teaching.

“Teachers and learners must break the habit of always being on the receiving end of information and start producing information. Coding and computational thinking is the key to achieving this,” said Mr Deon van Vuuren of the Department of Education.

“Teachers and learners must break the habit of always being on the receiving end of information and start producing information. Coding and computational thinking is the key to achieving this,” said Mr Deon van Vuuren of the Department of Education who was the keynote speaker at the launch.

 

Written by GWF Media Academy.

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