Zambia trains hundreds of teachers in run-up to Africa Code Week 2017

Skilled Volunteers from SAP CSR EMEA successfully trained more than 350 local teachers over the weekend as part of the Train-the-Trainer sessions organized by SAP and Africa Code Week partners at Lusaka International Community School (LICS). Participants learnt coding with Scratch, a free programming language designed by the MIT Media Lab to teach coding to the young generation in a fun and interactive way. Everyone received 90 minutes of training, a USB with course notes and Scratch pre-loaded, together with a training certificate upon course completion.

Spearheaded by SAP in 2015 with over half-a-million young Africans introduced to coding so far, Africa Code Week officially returns to the continent from 18-25 October with a goal to empower another 500,000 across 35 countries. Actively supported by UNESCO YouthMobile, the Cape Town Science Centre, the Galway Education Centre, Google, 15 African governments and over 100 public and private partners, the award-winning initiative is on a mission to bridge the digital skills gap across the African continent by empowering its future workforce with coding skills. While 8-17 year olds learn how to program their own animations, quizzes and games using Scratch, older learners (18-24) get introduced to web technologies (HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP and SQL) and architecture.

“There is no transformation of education through ICT without proper training of teachers first; hence the importance of the Train-the-Trainer sessions organized every year in most participating countries,” says Claire Gillissen-Duval, Director of EMEA Corporate Social Responsibility at SAP and Africa Code Week Global Lead. “This is where the transfer of skills and knowledge takes place as SAP skilled volunteers equip teachers with the teaching materials they need to make coding a daily reality in the classroom,” Gillissen-Duval continues. Last year more than 5,600 adults were trained as part of the 25+ Train-the-Trainer sessions organized all over the continent.

“Throughout the weekend, Zambian teachers showcased sheer determination and commitment in supporting our efforts to bridge the digital divide and empower younger generations with job-relevant coding skills,” Gillissen-Duval adds. LICS teachers don’t just teach coding to their students already, but they are also actively engaged in an outreach program that allowed 22 teachers from other schools (Good Shepard Community School, Kalingalinga Community School, City of Hope School and Ngómbe Community School) to participate in the Africa Code Week training. More Zambian teachers eager to engage their pupils in Africa Code Week 2017 flew from all corners of the country (sometimes as far as Solwezi) to attend the training at LICS and share best-practices with fellow teachers and SAP Master Instructors. They are now getting ready to introduce coding to their own pupils and students during Africa Code Week Zambia – taking place from 9 to 15 October 2017, which is 10 days earlier than most countries in order to accommodate the local school calendar.

According to Charles Mwanza, CEO of Hackers Guild and Africa Code Week implementing partner in Zambia, “Africa Code Week is teaching more than coding: it is encouraging young people to ‘think like coders’, for more and more coders will be needed to overcome society’s most pressing, increasingly complex challenges. Africa Code Week is a fantastic opportunity for Zambia’s youth to learn the skills they need to thrive in the global knowledge economy,” he concludes.

For further information about Africa Code Week, visit www.africacodeweek.org or the SAP News Center. Follow the initiative on Twitter @africacodeweek @sapafrica    

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