School pupils compete in digital skills

Accra, March 10, GNA – The Ghana Code Club and its partners iSpace Foundation, a technology innovation hub have organised a first ever digital skills competition for school pupils aged eight to 12 years at Labone in Accra. It was dubbed:

 “phoenixkids Hackathon 2017” and was supported by Tigo Ghana, a telecommunication firm, the Ghana Education Service and EPP Books Services.

The children were drawn from 22 schools in Ga East, Accra Metropolitan and the La-Dadekotopon Districts in the Greater Accra. The Hackathon competition was intended to give opportunity to Ghanaian kids to showcase their coding and computational thinking abilities.

The major goals were to create awareness of digital literacy and its importance with the hope of getting more schools, churches and community centres to start exposing the children to computer science related activities at an early age.

Most schools in 2016 established Code Clubs and training programmes for teachers to teach kids in the use of technological tools to express their creativity.

Mrs Ernestina Appiah, the Founder of the Ghana Code Club in address at the close of the event said the programme would promote digital activities in the schools.

“This is necessary because we live in a digital world and the future success of the next generation depends on their digital skills,” she said.

Mrs Appiah said in order for children to thrive in a technology driven society, they needed an opportunity to learn to express themselves through digital creativity instead of passively consuming other people’s creations all the time.

She commended the Ghana Education Service for their support for the event by providing logistics such as laptops and transportation for teachers and the school children.

Mrs Appiah advised the pupils to avail themselves of the opportunity, adding that the move would expose them to teamwork in their training at an early age to become tomorrow’s designers and programmers to solve challenges in society.

Mr Josiah Eyison, a Co-founder of iSpace Foundation in an interview with the Ghana News Agency said the Hackathon programme was very relevant due to the modern digital age to transform lives and careers of young people.

He said: “This will enable them to become problem solvers in our socio-economic world,” adding that Ghana is among the largest users of mobile technology in Africa and that could be translated into the positive development of the country.

The school children developed programmes such as games, animation and brainstormed on test-run, trouble-shooting and debugging to demonstrate their creativity.

The overall winners of the competition were pupils from the Nii Boi Town SDA Basic School and were presented with a projector.

The Gbegbeyise Basic School came second and received a laptop for being the best presenters.