Ghana teachers embrace digital learning

Despite the dual challenges of low internet penetration and a switch to virtual teaching due to the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers in Ghana have embraced the opportunity to learn 21st century digital teaching skills during this year’s Africa Code Week Train-the-Trainer campaign.

 

Ghana's population growth: a challenge and an opportunity

Ghana has a fast-growing population that more than doubled from 14.2 million people in 1989 to 28.8 million people in 2017. Nearly 39% of the population is under the age of 15, a demographic dividend that the Ghanaian government aims to harness through improved education opportunities for all its youth.

Speaking at the launch of last year’s Train-the-Trainer activities in Ghana, Minister of Education, Hon. Dr. Yaw Adutwum, said: “Coding is not just a skill. It’s a different way of teaching and a different way of learning that puts the student at the centre of the learning process.”

More than 39 000 teachers in 37 countries were mobilised during the 2019 Africa Code Week. This year, with both a virtual and a hybrid format due to the impact of the pandemic, Africa Code Week is taking place in all African countries, including a month-long series of virtual coding sessions that took place across the continent from October until December.

 

Teachers embrace digital learning opportunity

Francis Ahene-Affoh, SVP at the DreamOval Foundation, says there was a high level of interest in the Train-the-Trainer sessions this year despite the challenging conditions of the pandemic.

“We had to switch to an all-virtual teaching model supported by SAP master trainers from around the world, as well as our network of local partners. Teachersfrom all regions in Ghana registered and participatedon the virtual training. Teachers from as far as Fumbisi in the Builsa south in the Upper East region of Ghana. This is an opportunity for an inclusive training, ensuring every teachers irrespective of location benefits from the coding training. This year’s training targeted 800 teachers. In 2020 alone over two weeks, we trained 1080 teachers from across the country."

A survey conducted by the DreamOval Foundation of participating teachers revealed many would choose to continue with online learning in future. “While the majority of participants at this year’s Train-the-Trainer sessions were from the Greater Accra and Ashanti regions, this year’s virtual learning model also enabled teachers from every part of Ghana to participate,” says Ahene-Affoh. "We believe this indicates a need for virtual teaching to continue even when the pandemic subsides, as the travel to attend training sessions in person can be an obstacle to teachers' participation.”

Internet connectivity continues to be a challenge in Ghana, and few teachers have access to laptops. “Despite not having resources, more than half of teachers surveyed joined the sessions via their mobile phones. This level of commitment and passion for teaching and digital skills development is hugely encouraging as we work to prepare the country’s youth for participation in the digital economy,” says Ahene-Affoh.

 

Mobilising youth in continent-wide coding challenge

A recent addition to Africa Code Week activities is the AfriCanCode Challenge, a continent-wide coding challenge calling on youth aged 8 to 16 to compete in a competition. The competition was launched in September last year in partnership with SAP, UNESCO YouthMobile and Irish Aid.

According to Mustapha Diyaol Haqq, Africa Code Week’s 2019-2020 youth ambassador in Ghana, interest in the AfriCanCode Challenge has been high among Ghanaian youth. “Despite low levels of internet penetration in Ghana, young aspiring coders from across the country have taken up the challenge. Through teamwork, problem-solving and newly-developed coding skills, youth are putting forward their vision for what the future of education holds for the continent."

Cathy Smith, Managing Director at SAP Africa, says:

“While the pandemic has upended the lives of learners and teachers across the continent and disrupted schooling, it has also created opportunities. The growing urgency to provide learning through digital channels is driving greater interest in digital skills among learners and teachers alike. Teaching young kids to code is a gift that will endure for decades to come. If we harness our most precious resource – our abundance of youthful talent – Africa will go from strength to strength in 2021 and beyond.”

 

AfriCAN Code Challenge 2021 in Ghana

 

 

About SAP

SAP’s strategy is to help every business run as an intelligent enterprise. As a market leader in enterprise application software, we help companies of all sizes and in all industries run at their best: 77% of the world’s transaction revenue touches an SAP® system. Our machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics technologies help turn customers’ businesses into intelligent enterprises. SAP helps give people and organizations deep business insight and fosters collaboration that helps them stay ahead of their competition. We simplify technology for companies so they can consume our software the way they want – without disruption. Our end-to-end suite of applications and services enables business and public customers across 25 industries globally to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and make a difference. With a global network of customers, partners, employees, and thought leaders, SAP helps the world run better and improve people’s lives. For more information, visit www.sap.com.

Africa Code Week lights spark of digital literacy in North Africa

Despite Covid-disruption, SAP Africa Code Week hosts Train-the-Trainer sessions in Libya, Mauritania with educators showing strong interest in digital literacy
Collaboration with Ministries of Education aimed at building sustainable skills development capacity

Digital literacy amidst conflict and pandemic

Two countries in the north of Africa affected by recent or ongoing conflict may be turning the corner on digital skills development for youth and teachers in 2021. Despite the challenges with internet access, lack of access to technology and ongoing conflict, interest in digital skills is high among learners and teachers alike in both Libya and Mauritania.

Dorsaf Benna Chelly, SAP Africa Code Week coordinator in North Africa, is upbeat about the interest shown by educators – including the Ministries of Education – in both countries.

“2020 was the first year that hosted Train-the-Trainer sessions in Libya and Mauritania and continues to grow in attendance and popularity. The goal is to equip teachers with skills and knowledge to support digital learning in the country, and to inspire a new generation of young Africans to build a better future using technology as an enabler. The response from educators in Libya and Mauritania shows healthy interest in digital literacy and skills development and point to a shift in how both countries are preparing their youth for the 21st century digital economy.”
 
 

Building blocks of a brighter future for Libya’s youth

Did you know?

  • Libya is in a state of civil war as rival factions seek control of the government. The World Food Programme estimates that 435 000 people have been displaced by the conflict.
  • When the pandemic emerged in early 2020, it prompted school closures across Libya, leaving 1.3 million learners suddenly out of school. The Libyan government worked with local television stations to broadcast compulsory lessons for middle and secondary school children. 
  • The Libyan Ministry of Education also partnered with UNICEF to support digital teaching platforms, provide technical supplies such as tablets and computers, and improve internet connectivity. 
  • According to World Bank data, only 22% of the population in Libya had access to the internet in 2017. 

Dr Muna Naas, Africa Code Week coordinator for Libya and member of the Libyan Ministry of Education, says:

“Work is underway by the Libyan government to meet the long-term education requirements for youth and ensure every learning is equipped to take part in the global digital economy. As the main conduits of learning, teachers play an invaluable role in preparing our youth for a bright future. This makes the positive response from local educators to our first-ever Train-the-Trainer workshops all the more encouraging.”

Last year a total of five Train-the-Trainer sessions were held in the country in September and October, with 67 teachers taking place. Twelve of the teachers were female. In 2021 this figure is set to increase during the months of October to December.

“For many of the teachers, this was their first contact with coding,” says Benna Chelly. "We have also mobilised support among teachers for the AfriCAN Code Challenge, a relatively new initiative at this year’s Africa Code Week that seeks youth aged 8 to 16 to foster a wide range of essential skills, from coding to problem-solving and teamwork, and compete in a competition to help unleash their super powers through coding creativity.”

Scaling teaching impact in Mauritania

Despite constant government investment in the education sector, Mauritania has not yet achieved universal primary school enrolment. According to the World Bank, the country’s learning outcomes remain low, partly due to teachers’ limited qualifications and skills. 

In addition, only one in five people in Mauritania have access to the internet according to 2017 data. This adds further complications to the provision of digital learning in the country. 

According to Cheikh Konaté, Member of the National Assembly of Education in Mauritania, improving the quality of education is critical to the country’s economic growth and human capital development efforts. “As the gatekeepers on knowledge and learning, teachers are invaluable in helping us prepare our youth for the future. With the support of our public and private sector partners, hundreds of teachers participated in the first-ever Train-the-Trainer workshops in our country, and gained first-hand experience with new digital learning and teaching schools.”

Benna Chelly points to the ongoing interest in ACW Train-the-Trainer sessions among educators in Mauritania.

“Across six sessions held virtually in September last year, a total of 214 teachers participated, gaining first-hand knowledge of basic coding and digital literacy skills which they can take back to their classrooms to empower local youth."

More than 39 000 teachers in 37 countries were mobilised during the 2019 Africa Code Week. This year, with an all-virtual format due to the impact of the pandemic, Africa Code Week is taking place across all African countries, with a month-long series of virtual coding sessions taking place across the continent during October to December.

Hicham Iraqi Houssaini, Managing Director of SAP Francophone Africa concludes:

“While the pandemic has upended the lives of learners and teachers across the continent and disrupted schooling, it has also created opportunities. The growing urgency to provide learning through digital channels is driving greater interest in digital skills among learners and teachers alike. Teaching young kids to code is a gift that will endure for decades to come. If we harness our most precious resource – our abundance of youthful talent – Africa will go from strength to strength in 2021 and beyond.”

For more information about Africa Code Week, please visit www.africacodeweek.org

 

 

About Africa Code Week

Since 2015, SAP Africa Code Week (ACW) has been creating free opportunities for young Africans to learn coding skills and for teachers to be trained on digital learning curricula. Strong partnerships with the public, private and civil society sectors across 54 countries are driving sustainable impact by building teaching capacity and supporting the adoption of coding into national curricula in support of UN Sustainable Development Goals 4, 5 and 17. Join SAP and partners by visiting www.africacodeweek.org to find out more.

About SAP

SAP’s strategy is to help every business run as an intelligent enterprise. As a market leader in enterprise application software, we help companies of all sizes and in all industries run at their best: 77% of the world’s transaction revenue touches an SAP® system. Our machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics technologies help turn customers’ businesses into intelligent enterprises. SAP helps give people and organizations deep business insight and fosters collaboration that helps them stay ahead of their competition. We simplify technology for companies so they can consume our software the way they want – without disruption. Our end-to-end suite of applications and services enables business and public customers across 25 industries globally to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and make a difference. With a global network of customers, partners, employees, and thought leaders, SAP helps the world run better and improve people’s lives. For more information, visit www.sap.com.

AfriCAN Code Challenge: DreamOval Foundation Honours Deserving Pupils

The DreamOval Foundation in partnership with SAP, UNESCO YouthMobile, and Irish Aid, organized an inspiring award ceremony last week for Ghanaian students who have played an active part in this year’s Africa Code Week (ACW) AfriCAN Code Challenge competition.

The event was a joyful ceremony involving school authorities, Metropolitan assembly officials, chiefs, and parents from the winning school to showcase the hard work and efforts of local youth in line with the Government's agenda towards improving 21st century learning. Prizes included laptops, tablets, mobile handsets, and book vouchers and were handed to country winners from Nii Boye Town SDA Basic School, Martyrs of Uganda and Accra, and Sweet Code. 

Ghanean students rise above Covid challenges

Speaking about the awards ceremony, Francis Ahene-Affoh from DreamOval adds, “Despite the global pandemic and today’s disruptions to learning, Ghana received both innovative and creative competition entries. We selected the best three to represent our country for the continental challenge and look forward to seeing our local talent showcased with Africa’s top students.” 

The AfriCAN Code Challenge is an exciting pan-African competition that invites youth aged 8-16 years to program a Scratch game aligned to the 'Change the world with your Superpowers' theme. Participants are invited to compete individually or in teams of up to five people to test students’ ability to write basic code using the scratch language and to show their level of competence in a 2min video which is reviewed by a panel of judges. 

Speaking at the event, Chief of Nii Boye Town, Nii Ayi Mensah 1, acknowledged the students and their hard work and the importance of key influencers and local ambassadors in fostering digital education in the community. He also highlighted the importance of digital learning and education while referencing the students from SDA who were shining examples with their winning creations in the AfriCAN Code Challenge. 

Francis from DreamOval echoed Nii Ayi Mensah 1’s words at the event by celebrating the students’ tenacity and dedication, but also encouraged them to take digital learning and coding seriously as a ‘transformative journey’ that will change their lives and make them competitive in the global economy. 

 

AfriCAN Code Challenge 2021 Ghana Africa Code Week

 

Ghana helps conquer Africa’s digital divide  

During 2021 alone, more than 621 teachers have been trained in Ghana during Africa Code Week’s Train-the-Trainer (TTT) sessions during the month of August thanks to the implementing partner, DreamOval Foundation. 

Due to COVID-19 and to support health and safety regulations, the training was scheduled online and created an opportunity for teachers to register from all corners of the country. “Ghana has recorded impressive results over the years during the TTT sessions, and this year was no exception,” concludes Francis Ahene-Affoh. 

To find out more information about Ghana’s continued support in Africa Code Week or to get involved, contact the DreamOval Foundation or send an email to Francis. 

 

AfriCAN Code Challenge Winners: All Female TOP 3 use Tech to Change the Future of Education

Version française ci-dessous

After a rigorous round of judging for this year’s AfriCAN Code Challenge, SAP Africa Code Week’s top 10 winners were announced and special highlights include the top 3 being all-female, aged 10 - 16 years, with Soliyana, 10 years old from Ethiopia as the Pan-African winner of the competition.

"Despite the COVID disruption for schools which impacted hundreds of millions of youth across Africa, children from more than 54 countries stepped-up to share their vision of the future of education,” says Africa Code Week’s Global Coordinator, Olajide Ademola Ajayi.

Ajayi continues to say that the youth engagement throughout the challenge was incredibly inspiring, “While there can ultimately be only one winner, the quality of entries at the inaugural AfriCAN Code Challenge encouraged hope and confidence for Africa's future, shaped by the largest youth population in the world."

Launched by SAP Africa Code Week and partners UNESCO, Irish Aid, the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) and Jokkolabs in September 2020, the AfriCAN Code Challenge is a pan-African coding competition where youth aged 8 - 16 were tasked with coding a game using the Scratch programming language to answer the question: "How will your tech change the future of education?"

During the AfriCAN Code Challenge youth were able to enter alone or in teams of up to five people, and entries featured a two-minute YouTube clip showcasing how their game works and why it should be considered a winning entry. The unique initiative and entry mechanism called upon the children’s ability to design a project that would solve a community-issue, code it, and communicate it.

During the opening rounds of the challenge, participation reached across 40 countries and featured 100 project video clips, only the top three entries from 36 countries made it into the continental final, followed by 22 countries in the final judging stage.

Selected by a high-level jury composed of key Africa Code Week delegates and STEM education experts, the top three of the AfriCAN Code Challenge is:

Rank

Country

Project Name

Winner's Name

Age

Photo

1st

Ethiopia

Mathstainement

Soliyana

10 years old

2nd

South Africa

Space Quest

Kayla

15 years old

3rd

Algeria

Welcome to the Best School

Sarah

16 years old

 
Followed by:

4th: Mauritius – Mr. E-Bin
5th: Nigeria – I-Learn
6th: Tunisia – Warrior
7th: Morocco – Abdelilah Hashas
8th: Zimbabwe – HeadStart Game
9th: Rwanda – Math Puzzles for Kids
10th: Ivory Coast – Easy Preterit

The jury also awarded two superior prizes for ‘Outstanding Government Support’ to Morocco and Nigeria, where the competition was implemented by the Ministries of Education, and received strong institutional support.

Claire Gillissen-Duval, Director of EMEA Corporate Social Responsibility and Co-founder of Africa Code Week at SAP celebrates the joyous occasion, “The all-female top three proves that the future of tech cannot be envisioned without girls. Once again, this year’s ACW initiative increased its female participation and these incredible achievements highlight the massive strides that SAP, partners and the ACW programme continue to make in closing gender gap and build an all-inclusive digital world.”

“In addition to the winners, we also give thanks to the ongoing support from Government, who join us on our digital journey and believe in the importance and relevance of 21st century learning for the development of native African excellence. The solid base of our partnership with the Moroccan and Nigerian Ministries of Education is the foundation of a successful model which we wish to replicate throughout Africa, to encourage governments to include computer coding in their national curricula.”

 

 

Gagnantes du concours AfriCAN Code Challenge : quand les filles utilisent la technologie pour changer l'avenir de l'éducation

Les jurés du concours ont finalement tranché : les 10 meilleurs projets du concours AfriCAN Challenge 2020 sont désormais connus! Les trois grandes gagnantes sont des jeunes femmes âgées de 10 à 16 ans, Soliyana en tête. A 10 ans, cette jeune Éthiopienne est la lauréate du concours à l’échelle panafricaine.

« Malgré les conséquences du COVID sur les écoles, touchant plusieurs centaines de millions de jeunes à travers l'Afrique, des jeunes d’une quarantaine de pays ont répondu à l’appel et nous ont fait part de leur vision de l'éducation de demain, » a déclaré Olajide Ademola Ajayi, Coordinateur mondial d’Africa Code Week. » Pour lui, l'implication des jeunes à chaque étape du concours est une grande source d’inspiration : « Bien qu'il ne puisse y avoir qu'un seul gagnant, la qualité des contributions à cette toute première édition du concours redonne espoir et confiance en l'avenir de l'Afrique, façonné dès aujourd’hui par la plus grande population de jeunes au monde. »

Lancé en septembre 2020 par SAP Africa Code Week et ses partenaires (l'UNESCO, Irish Aid, l'Association pour le développement de l'éducation en Afrique (ADEA) et Jokkolabs), l'AfriCAN Code Challenge est un concours de codage pour les jeunes de 8 à 16 ans. Leur mission consistait à programmer un jeu à l’aide de Scratch pour répondre au thème : "Comment ta technologie va-t-elle changer l'avenir de l'éducation ?

Les jeunes pouvaient participer seul ou en équipe de cinq personnes au maximum. A l’aide d’un clip YouTube de deux minutes, ils devaient expliquer le fonctionnement de leur jeu et en quoi il se démarque. Cette initiative unique fait ainsi appel à un large éventail de compétences, de la capacité des enfants à concevoir un projet et à résoudre un problème communautaire en passant par la programmation et la communication.

Des milliers de jeunes issus de 40 pays ont participé au premier tour, donnant lieu à une première sélection de 100 projets vidéo. Seuls les trois meilleurs projets de 36 pays ont été retenus pour la finale continentale, puis de 22 pays lors de la grande finale.

Sélectionnées par un jury de haut niveau composé de responsables SAP Africa Code Week, de partenaires et de pédagogues experts, les trois grandes gagnantes à l’échelle panafricaines sont :

Rang

Pays

Nom du projet

Nom de la gagnante

Age

Photo

1ère

Ethiopie

Mathstainement

Soliyana

10 ans

2ème

Afrique du Sud

Space Quest

Kayla

15 ans

3ème

Algérie

Welcome to the Best School 
(Bienvenue dans la
meilleure école)

Sarah

16 ans

 
Suivies de :

4ème: Maurice – Mr. E-Bin
5ème: Nigéria – I-Learn
6ème: Tunisie – Warrior
7ème: Maroc – Abdelilah Hashas
8ème: Zimbabwe – HeadStart Game
9ème: Rwanda – Math Puzzles for Kids
10ème: Côte d'Ivoire – Easy Preterit

Le jury a également décerné deux prix spéciaux intitulés "Soutien exceptionnel du gouvernement" au Maroc et au Nigéria, deux pays où le concours fut déployé par le Ministère de l'Education, bénéficiant ainsi d'un soutien institutionnel important.

Claire Gillissen-Duval, Directrice de la Responsabilité sociétale des entreprises pour la région EMEA et co-fondatrice d'Africa Code Week chez SAP, se félicite de cette réussite : « le palmarès féminin de ce concours prouve que l'avenir de la technologie ne saurait être envisagé sans les filles. Africa Code Week a de nouveau augmenté son taux de participation féminine cette année et ces incroyables réalisations soulignent les progrès considérables accomplis par SAP et ses partenaires dans le cadre d'Africa Code Week pour combler le fossé numérique et bâtir un monde numérique ouvert à toutes et à tous. »

« En plus des gagnants, nous tenons à remercier les gouvernements pour leur soutien sans faille. Partenaires de notre voyage pédagogique, ils croient comme nous en l'importance et la pertinence de l'apprentissage du XXIe siècle pour l'essor de l'excellence autochtone africaine. La solidité des partenariats que nous avons noué avec les ministères marocain et nigérian de l'éducation sont le fondement d'un modèle de réussite que nous souhaitons reproduire dans toute l'Afrique, encourageant les gouvernements à faire de l'informatique un pilier durable de leurs programmes scolaires. »

AfriCAN Code Challenge: Congratulations to the 22 Finalists! / Félicitations au 22 finalistes!

Launched by SAP Africa Code Week for the first time this year, the AfriCAN Code Challenge is a pan-African coding competition where youth aged 8 to 16 were tasked with coding a game using the Scratch programming language to answer the question: “How will your tech change the future of education?” Youth were able to enter alone or in teams of up to five people, tapping into a wide range of essential skills from problem-solving and coding all the way to teamwork and communications. Each entry had to include a two-minute YouTube video showing how the game works and why it should win.

 

Bezalel Magede representing Rwanda
Bezalel Magede to represent Rwanda in the pan-African finals

 

In total, 40 countries participated, with over 100 project videos submitted. The top three entries from 36 countries made it into the continental final, with 22 projects making it to the final judging stage! According to Claire Gillissen-Duval, Director of EMEA Corporate Social Responsibility and Co-founder of Africa Code Week at SAP, “African youth are highly creative and community-oriented, and have a key role to play in building a safer and better future for the continent. By encouraging learners to innovate at an early age, we hope to inspire them to become change-makers and help find solutions to challenges in their communities, nations and beyond.”

-----

Lancé par SAP Africa Code Week pour la première fois cette année, l'AfriCAN Code Challenge est un concours de codage pour les jeunes de 8 à 16 ans. Leur mission : programmer un jeu en utilisant le langage de programmation Scratch sur le thème : "Comment ta technologie va-t-elle changer l'avenir de l'éducation ?" Les jeunes pouvaient participer seuls ou en équipes de cinq personnes maximum, en faisant appel à un large éventail de compétences essentielles - de la résolution de problèmes à la programmation en passant par le travail d'équipe et la communication. Chaque participation devait inclure une vidéo YouTube de deux minutes montrant le fonctionnement du jeu.

 

Les gagnants au Cameroun 
Les gagnants du Cameroun

 

Au total, 40 pays ont participé, et plus de 100 vidéos de projets ont été soumises. Les trois meilleurs projets de 36 pays ont été retenus pour la finale continentale: sur ces 36 projets, 22 projets ont été retenus pour la dernière phase! Selon Claire Gillissen-Duval, Directrice de la Responsabilité sociétale d'entreprise EMEA et co-fondatrice d'Africa Code Week chez SAP, "Parce qu'ils sont extrêmement créatifs et soucieux des besoins de leur communauté , les jeunes Africains ont un rôle majeur à jouer dans la construction d'un avenir meilleur et plus sûr pour le continent. En encourageant les élèves à innover dès leur plus jeune âge, nous espérons les encourager à devenir de véritables acteurs du changement pour trouver des solutions aux grands défis locaux, régionaux, nationaux et au-delà."

 

Here are the 22 projects that made it through to the final round / Voici les 22 projets finalistes:

  1. Algérie: The Best School
  2. Botswana: OK Zoomer
  3. Cabo Verde: Caça Tecnofasma
  4. Cameroun : Grazerty
  5. Côte d’Ivoire: Easy Preterit
  6. Djibouti : Groupe Etoile
  7. Ethiopia: Mathstainement
  8. Ghana : Body Quizz by Nathaniel Aloriwe
  9. Kenya: Augustin Agaba’s project
  10. Malawi: Love Math
  11. Maroc: Hashas Abdelilah
  12. Mauritius: Mr. E-Bin
  13. Niger: Brain Test
  14. Nigeria: I-Learn
  15. République du Congo : Une fille et son chien
  16. Rwanda: Math Puzzles for Kids
  17. São Tomé & Principe: Africa Jungle Quizz
  18. Sénégal: Bat School
  19. South Africa: Space Quest
  20. Tanzania: Animal Name Game
  21. Tunisie: Warrior – Ahmed Antit
  22. Zimbabwe: Headstart Game

 

Awards Ceremony in Sao Tome and Principe
Awards Ceremony in São Tomé and Príncipe

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