Botswana’s Ministry of Basic Education joins forces with SAP and Noko Mashaba to promote Africa Code Week and empower pupils

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To celebrate the launch of the Ministry of Basic Education, SAP Africa Code Week (ACW) returned to Gaborone’s Bontleng Primary School this weekend with more fun-filled afternoons of coding training provided to 80 local teachers and 100 pupils in preparation for Africa Code Week 2017 (18-25 October 2017)

Identified by the Ministry in the South-East region, the group of 80 teachers were successfully introduced to Scratch, a free programming language designed by the MIT Media Lab to teach coding to the young generation in a fun and interactive way. Supported by local implementing partner Ngwana Enterprises, SAP Master Instructors joined the workshops from abroad to equip teachers with the Scratch teaching materials they need to make coding literacy a daily reality on the classroom. All participants received 90 minutes of training, a USB key with course notes and Scratch pre-loaded, together with a training certificate upon course completion.

On Saturday, celebrity cartoonist Jonas Lekganyane (a.k.a. Noko Mashaba) visited the school to inspire pupils through his famous cartoon series “The Adventures of Noko Mashaba” and the power of his own testimony. “Everything is inspired by something or someone else in the first place: inspiration can be drawn from the past, present or even the future,” Lekganyane explains. “One can be inspired by their financial circumstances at home, another can be inspired by a complete stranger. The trick is to understand that everyone is gifted differently, so everyone is able to think outside the box and explore fields of knowledge in a way nobody else has. I am extremely grateful to be able to take part in this initiative and inspire children to hone the digital skills they need to make their dreams come true in the 21st century,” Lekganyane continues.

Over 500 teachers have been trained in Botswana over the past two years and the Ministry’s support is critical to scale the initiative’s impact nationwide in 2017. “What is happening in Botswana is a shining example of how renewed public-private partnerships are scaling the impact of digital literacy interventions across an entire nation,” said Claire Gillissen-Duval, Director of EMEA Corporate Social Responsibility at SAP and Africa Code Week Global Lead.

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