Human beings tend to be afraid of first times. Most of us fear the unknown and what may happen if we get out of our family’s comfort zone. Sometimes, we’d like to stop evolution, especially the technological one. Truth is, it's easier not to have any expectation...simply because we won't be disappointed. And we stick to this way of thinking concerning our children. But we often forget that we should have high hopes about their education.
Over the past month, I have been busy working on ways to improve malagasy children’s education. I started going to bed later and later at night, busy as I was trying to handpick the most playful yet powerful educational content and tools from the Internet. I found were great teaching games created by adults for kids...until something even greater happened: I found out there was a Coder Dojo, here, in Antananarivo.
So I decided to go there on a Saturday morning to quench my curiosity and the fact that I didn’t know a thing about coding. And I must admit: I didn’t have high expectations...yet I was in for a big surprise. It was fantastic. Not the biggest room on earth, not the best computers either, no the most academic savvy kids. Just a simple room with cool ninjas painted all over the walls, good old computers, cute kids and humble teachers. Children are aged between 7 and 17, and here they are, learning how to code. Isn’t that amazing? Coding kids. Smiling faces.
Africa Code Week started on October 1st. And today is World Teacher Day. By writing my first article about education, I want to celebrate my country, its teachers, coders and Coder Dojos. For they are giving our children a chance to get in touch with education, advanced technology and innovation. This is a wonderful space for kids to learn, create and share freely. Somehow, this is education at its very best: teaching a kid how to create something that will participate to another kid’s education.
We, in Madagascar, will celebrate AfricaCodeWeek this coming Saturday, October 10th at HABAKA Tsimbazaza, (08.30am to 11am). Kids will showcase their creations, mini-games and animated drawing. Can’t wait to meet you there!
What if your child was one of them? What if your little boy or little girl was “the next revolution” for the next generation? Leading us right into a better future. How would you know? In Madagascar, coding is kind of unknown territory for now, but that's about to change. Coder Dojos are helping our kids not to be afraid of it. And they believe that the next “big thing” will be made in Madagascar.
So let me take this opportunity to thanks all the coders who worked backstage to make this article appear on your computer’s screen. They were kids too, they grew up, and now they are coding the world.
More inspiring reads from Valisoa on his blog Le Sablier Blanc (The White Hourglass).