Youth being empowered with coding skills using smart phones

Cape Coast- A science club initiated by a group of old students of the Mfantsipim School five years ago, has produced computer geniuses sharing programming and coding skills to the youth on their smart phones across the continent.

Coding is a system of programming which can be leveraged with many activities from education, health, national activities and personal management with a potential of creating direct and indirect jobs for both national and international markets.

The efforts of the group members has earned foreign support to significantly scale up their innovation to train hundred of students from 2013 till date- and these have in turn impacted other students with enormous benefits.

They have since introduced the adaptation of smart phones for coding rather than laptops, after an initial survey realized that only 25 percent of secondary school students had laptops but 100 percent owned smart phones.

Their system is a smart-phone based bringing coding within arms-reach through the teaching of coding interspersed with ping pong fun games.

Mr George Boateng, the President of the Group and a PhD candidate in Computer Science and Engineering, said they were motivated to give back to the society by teaching non-science students skills in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) to help them to develop interest in science and technology-based innovations.

This, he said, was being achieved by organising vacation training programmes known as Innovation Science with Engineering Solution and Technology (ISWEST).

He said currently, fourteen team projects dealing with various aspects of life from the detection of malaria, the conversion of sign language to audio form, using of the PC to write braille and other simple technologies such as programming apps for decision making has been developed.

After four years of constant successes and improvement in the project, the Group hopes to up its game to extend to another project dubbed SUA-Code, a name from the Akan language, with meaning learning-Code to the youth in the whole of Africa, he said.

That the number of smart phones that would be in Africa by the year 2021 would be far in excess of 900 million and the group saw it as an opportunity to leverage the use of smart phones to provide coding skills.

Mr Boateng said their Foundation through its Facebook account encouraged females who were into STEM to produce essays on Facebook to inspire more girls to study STEM subjects.

He said they continue to make strides in the field of STEM by using innovative technological methods needed to support all relevant organisations and individuals to spread its tentacles far and wide to facilitate the development of the continent using technology.

Source: Ghana News Agency