CodeJIKA initiative targets 100K African youth

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 04 Dec 2023
Computer Science Education Week seeks to promote computer science education, coding proficiency and AI awareness.
Computer Science Education Week seeks to promote computer science education, coding proficiency and AI awareness.

As it’s Computer Science Education Week (CSED Week) from today until 10 December, non-profit organisationCode for Change is hosting coding activities across the continent.

CSED Week is a rallying call to promote computer science education, coding proficiency and artificial intelligence (AI) awareness, with a focus on grade K to12 pupils.

It honours the birthday of computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, who was born on 9 December 1906.

Through its flagship initiative, CodeJIKA, Code for Change says it aims to equip 100 000 students with essential coding skills during this week-long commemoration.

CodeJIKA is aimed at empowering African high school students with digital skills, through coding skills and AI awareness programmes.

Chelsea Hornby, donor relations head at Code for Change, explains: "Many of the jobs of the future will require at least a basic understanding of computer science and coding. Tackling the problem of digital skills development through initiatives like Africa Code Week and community-focused programmes such as CodeJIKA is critical."

CodeJIKA serves alongside, as an African-centric coding club for pupils around the continent during CSED Week. All activities will take place online on the CodeJIKA coding platform and all countries are welcome to participate.

Students can participate in CSED week at no cost on the CodeJIKA website.

Teachers are encouraged to engage with CodeJIKA, irrespective of their technical background. The initiative provides a user-friendly interface for teachers to guide their students through the coding journey.

Joel Mavuso, deputy chief education specialist in e-learning from the Ekurhuleni South District, calls for participation and support from those who hold influence in their respective fields.

"CSED Week is an opportunity for us to join forces with educators, community leaders and business professionals, to foster a nationwide movement focused on computer science education. Our goal is to empower students across all levels of proficiency and create a welcoming environment for them to explore coding,” says Mavuso.

Teachers can sign up on and invite students using the join code link.

Volunteers are invited to host ‘Hour of Code’ sessions in schools during CSED Week. The steps outlined include selecting a school and preparing for the session by accessing a downloadable guide provided by CodeJIKA.

Temoso Matlokosi, a grade nine pupil from Bokamoso Secondary School, says: “CSED Week is just the beginning of a lifelong coding journey. I encourage other students to continue their coding endeavours by completing projects on the CodeJIKA platform, inviting peers to join, forming coding clubs and exploring offline projects."