CoderDojo comes to Samoa

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A NEW GENERATION OF I.T.: CoderDojo first class with Digicel C.E.O Rory Condon (right) and facilitator Rosemary Thew (left).

A NEW GENERATION OF I.T.: CoderDojo first class with Digicel C.E.O Rory Condon (right) and facilitator Rosemary Thew (left).

Technology is booming and has transformed the way we operate on a daily basis. 

While many of us know how to use our smartphones and tablets, rarely do we take the opportunity to learn how they work. 

Digicel Samoa has joined the CoderDojo movement giving children the opportunity to discover and understand the technology which shapes the world we live in.

CoderDojo is a global non-profit movement of volunteer-led, community based computer programming clubs for young people. 

At a Dojo, children between the ages of 5 years -12 years, learn the basic building blocks of computer programming, and can go on to develop websites, apps, programmes, games and explore technology in an informal and creative environment.

 ‘’Digicel is excited to bring the CoderDojo initiative to Samoa,’’ said Rory Condon, Digicel Samoa C.E.O. 

‘’Technology is no longer a luxury, but a necessity in many of our lives.  And we believe that every child should have the opportunity to learn the basics regardless of whether they have computers at home. We believe that there is no reason, why, given the right support and encouragement, we wouldn’t have our own future Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs, right here in Samoa!’’

 ‘’Many of these skill sets will dominate the career landscape in future and Digicel is in the privileged position being able to help.  We are also very grateful for the help of local IT professional, Eugene Barker, who shares our passion for technology and importance of teaching children the basics of computers in a supervised, and supportive learning environment.”

‘’What we try to teach is the basics. After that, the children are quick to learn more sophisticated things.  We were amazed by how quickly they learned.  It is incredible to see that light-bulb moment, when you know you’ve sparked off an interest in a child that can grow into a passion.  That passion could lead these children to a very bright future.”

Samoa’s leading communications and I.C.T Company is the first to setup Dojo classes in Samoa.  

Digicel has also enlisted the help of its young and talented staff as volunteers to help to teach the children.   

The pilot programme started in October with two classes, at Digicel’s head office, focusing on 5-12 year old children. These classes were facilitated by Eugene Barker of S.I.F.A, and Digicel IT graduate and CoderDojo Champion Rosemary Thew. 

‘’It was exciting the see passion in the kids and the growing interest in creating their own coding programmes,” said Rosemary. “Helping them is very important, if they make a mistake they aren’t necessarily wrong, they get to learn more and with my experience in the IT field, I feel that we must teach children coding as we teach them art, music and maths.’’

Digicel is investing in the future economic success of Samoa, through its education programmes.  It’s recently launched $50,000 Technology Scholarship programme entry date closes on 31 January.  Introducing CoderDojo to Samoa is one more step on the path to developing our brightest young mind

 “We see our pilot programme as a good start.’’, said Mr. Condon “However we are looking at ways to develop this initiative to bring the benefits to more children.  As such we are on the lookout for volunteers, parents and organisations who share our passion for education.’’

If you would like to know more about how you could support this initiative, please contact moli.seanoa@digicelgroup.com 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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