Start-up targets young learners with coding skills
EaziCode, an online tutoring platform founded by University of Pretoria alumni Ngoni Mujuru, together with Thato Tshukudu and Tshegofatso Isaac, aims to provide coding skills to children from as young as nine years to the age of 16.
The start-up’s vision is to make programming a common skill among young students.
“Just like we value our children learning maths and geography at a young age, we envision programming being a skill that will also be just as valued,” Mujuru tells ITWeb in an e-mail interview.
Mujuru started programming at the age of 19, and says he immediately wished he had started at a much younger age.
He says he met other software engineers – Tshukudu and Isaac – who shared the same sentiment and that’s how EaziCode was born.
“So we decided to create EaziCode to introduce people from as young as nine years old to programming. It’s always a pleasure to watch someone write their first computer program, and realise that it’s not so hard after all,” Mujuru says.
EaziCode tutors want their students to possess the ability to code without any assistance. “This is important to us because in the industry we work in, one can be expected to learn a programming language or framework within a short period of time with no guidance. So it is ideal that our learners learn to be autonomous in their learning and expansion of their technical skills,” says the company.
Describing how the courses are structured, Mujuru says the online tutoring platform offers one-on-one sessions as well as group sessions.
With the one-on-one sessions, students are assigned a dedicated tutor throughout each course, to ensure the best learning experience, he explains.
“They [learners] work on exciting projects where they get to apply their technical skills while expressing their creativity.
“Our group sessions are specifically tailored for each group to ensure the best learning experience. These sessions give students the opportunity to learn from and teach each other while solving complex problems.”
To enrol in the programme, he says students just need to have a willingness to learn. “We aim to guide students up the hill of first understanding the fundamental principles of coding and computer science, and then inspire enough discipline for them to continue their journey to learning and expand their technical skills.
“We were able to identify in our research that most local curriculums for primary and secondary education in South Africa do not have programming as a taught fundamental skill. Within an increasingly digital world, our goal is to bridge this gap and enable students to learn programming and build creative products at a much younger age.”
EaziCode currently has a rotation of around 20 learners per month across its current courses, which are paid for. However, it has free orientation classes for each paid course so that a potential paying learner is able to experience the tutoring services before committing to the course.
The courses balance theory and practical content with a final project.
The start-up recently conducted its first project at Boitumelong Secondary School and says it has “exciting projects planned”. It also hopes to partner with the University of Pretoria in the near future.