EdtechMonday shows the progress of the coding industry in Rwanda – KT PRESS
Monday July’s EdTech episode returned to the airwaves with education partners showing that there is a growing appetite for coding skills among young Rwandans, a move that will fill the need to fill the gap. shortage of high caliber software developers in the Rwandan market.
The July 25, 2022 episode, which focused on developing coding skills in Rwanda’s education system, was hosted by KT radio (96.7FM) and streamed live on KigaliToday’s YouTube channel, allowing listeners and subscribers to interact on current progress.
Listeners were interested in knowing what coding is if coding sessions are open to everyone — concerns the guest addressed during the show.
Currently, there is one official coding school in the country – Rwanda Coding Academy (RCA) which opened its doors in 2019 to its first cohort of 60 students at the campus located in Nyabihu district, western Rwanda .
The academy admits top science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) students from national “O” level exams nationwide and specializes in the fields of software programming, embedded systems, software engineering, and cybersecurity.
RCA officials revealed that they already have three admissions and the first batch is ready for graduation this year as the appetite for more students and schools is on.
“The first group of graduates are currently preparing for their third-year final exams, but we have not seen many cases of students losing their appetite for coding except one who has gone abroad to pursue others. studies,” said Gabriel Baziramwabo, RCA Coding Instructor.
Baziramwabo said the skills learned at RCA enable most students to start earning side money (as freelance coders) and that’s a sign that the program will attract many but also create income for students. graduates.
For example, Baziramwabo revealed that one of his students was able to skip classes (with permission) to do freelance work and this earned the student at least Rwf 4 million per month.
“This kid was smart and we were able to continue our education, but the point here is that this appetite for coding starts with watching movies but ends with skills that can earn students a living,” Baziramwabo said.
Apart from the only coding school in Rwanda, Dr. Christine Niyizamwiyitira, head of ICT department at Rwanda Basic Education Board, says progress has been made in mainstreaming coding courses and equipment in primary schools and secondary schools to reach the target of 88.3% by 2024. .
For example, 57% of primary schools and 47% of secondary schools have computers and facilities in addition to the current curriculum for primary and secondary schools have a basic programming language – scratch (classroom sessions) on studies of type coding for beginners.
This is accompanied by annual competitions where the best students are selected at school, sector, district and national levels for the final three prizes in each coding test category.
“These competitions have helped motivate pupils and students, some of whom have managed to implement their coding skills to create products needed to solve current challenges,” said Niyizamwiyitira.
For example, Niyizamwiyitira said that in an effort to slow COVID-19 transmission rates, one of the students was able to code cartoons to educate other children about preventive measures using pictures.
To ensure teachers are also up-to-date, REB said they are focusing on recruiting teachers with computer skills to use to introduce children to basic computer (SET) lessons.
Coding experts said that the appetite for coding was growing rapidly among students and this was visible among applicants wishing to join the academy.
Shadrach Munyeshyaka, CEO and Founder of Nyereka Tech, said their goal is to promote coding, which can be learned by anyone and so far the appetite has been visibly greater among young Rwandans where they organize specialized training for communities and students in schools.
Rwandan coding students were also exposed to the African Code Challenge – an initiative that aims to increase digital literacy in Africa where the program trains children in computer programming at national and continental levels.
One such program exposed coding students like Kessia Kundwa Ineza from ESCAF Primary School who managed to code a project dubbed “Malnutrition Game”.
The game was developed using scratch programs and it helps and teaches players to eat healthy foods.
Another student is Stanley Magede Takunda from Discovery International School who coded the “Fighting global warming game project” – a game that encourages players to plant trees and save the Sahara Desert.