|Name of Innovation:||
According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), ICTs form the backbone of today's digital economy and have enormous potential to fast forward progress on the SDGs and improve people's lives. Africa lags behind the rest of the world in terms of digital literacy. According to SAP, less than 1% of African children leave school with basic coding skills. One cause of this gap is poor access to equipment such as computers for teaching and learning. According to research firm Ovum, there will be 929.9 million smartphones by the year 2021. Hence, smartphones provide a unique means of reaching the unreached.
|Description of Innovation:||
SuaCode aims to address Africa’s digital gap by introducing students in Africa to coding through smartphones. SuaCode is a smartphone-based coding course to teach millions across Africa to code using smartphones. Learners are introduced to fundamental coding concepts using their smartphones.
SuaCode provides lesson notes to reads, exercises, and coding assignments which are graded, and a platform to ask questions and receive answers from their peers and the SuaCode system. Students who complete with satisfactory grades get a certificate and exceptional students get mentoring sessions with Software Engineers at top tech companies like Google and Facebook.
Students all over the continent can sign up online to take part in the program as everything runs online. Additionally, with smartphones being the medium of delivery, the barrier to taking part is minimal for young people all over Africa.
Since 2018, we've 3 run pilots, with over 1,000 students from 37 countries apply to take part and introduced over 600 of them to coding via smartphones and SuaCode coding course.
We've written 2 peer-reviewed conference papers demonstrating that smartphones can be effectively used to introduce students to coding in-person and online that have been published by the IEEE — world's largest association of technical professional and the ACM — the world's largest scientific and educational computing society. The IEEE paper in 2018 showed that smartphones can be used to effectively introduce coding concepts via an in-person workshop. The ACM paper in 2019 showed that SuaCode’s smartphone-based curriculum can effectively introduce fundamental coding concepts via an online course. We are working on a paper that to be published in 2020 of the most recent cohort which had a completion rate of 76% (n= 210 students) which is well above the completion rate of online course which is below 10% and on average 6%.
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