5 Reasons to Download the Africa Code Week App

Calling all coding enthusiasts: did you know that more children in Africa are likely to have access to a smart phone than a computer? Here’s five reasons to download the Africa Code Week app and put those 21st century skills to practice!

 

Boost digital skills

The ACW app allows you to progress your skillset according to your ability and level. Available in 4 languages (English, French, Portuguese, and Arabic) with more than 30 coding lessons based on MIT’s Scratch, the app is accessible for all to improve their digital knowledge.

 

Prepare for 21st century jobs

Every future job will at some stage require digital skills! You may dream of becoming a lawyer or a doctor one day, but whatever profession you choose, digital skills are imperative. For example, if you become a surgeon, you’ll likely rely on computer systems to perform intricate procedures and monitor the well-being of your patients. If you become a lawyer, artificial intelligence (AI) may help you understand previous cases in order to build your own strategy when you defend your client in court. The clock is ticking!

 

Teachers can be inspired too

If you’re a teacher, the ACW app will help you prepare your own coding lessons. Many teachers feel daunted by coding and may not understand it. The app not only helps to get ahead and grasp the basics of coding, but teachers can also explain the subject with more confidence.

 

Teachers can upskill themselves

In learning how to code and how to teach coding, teachers will be able to prepare their students for the future, as well as future-proof their own careers. Rather than feeling threatened, teachers can embrace new technology and the creative possibilities that it holds for their students.

 

Join a community of like-minded people across Africa

The wonderful thing about technology is how it can transcend borders and unite people. One of the niftiest benefits of the app is how it can find and reach similar people and interest groups who share the same passion for coding. Who knows, you could even collaborate on an interactive game that will be the next winner at the AfriCAN Code Challenge!

 

The Africa Code Week smartphone app is designed to make teaching and learning material about coding accessible to everyone. Available on the Google Play Store, it is easy to use for both teachers and students. Let the code (and fun), begin!

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

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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. 

 

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