Next month, learners at SPARK Carlswald in Midrand will take part in the Finastra Hour of Code, a one-hour tutorial designed to broaden participation in computer science.
Six years ago, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said: “In 15 years we’ll be teaching programming just like reading and writing and wondering why we didn’t do it sooner.”
The Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in more than 100 countries. It started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify “code”, to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science.
It has since become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with one-hour coding activities but expanding to all sorts of community efforts. This grassroots campaign is already supported by more than 200 000 educators worldwide.
The Hour of Code at SPARK Carlswald – which takes place on Monday, March 4 – is provided by Finastra free of charge through its Heart Plus Smart corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme. Finastra works with the Code.org charity to give school children computer science and coding skills via the Hour of Code.
Finastra believes that every scholar should have the opportunity to learn computer science as it helps nurture problem-solving skills, logic and creativity. By starting early, scholars will have a foundation for success in any 21st-century career path. Moreover, in a future that will be heavily influenced by artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics, having exposure and a basic understanding of computer science and coding is of paramount importance to today’s youth.
SPARK Carlswald principal Luandra van den Heever is delighted with the opportunity given to the school’s learners. “I am excited that Finastra is giving the scholars the opportunity to participate in the hour of coding and through this get more exposure to what coding is about. I look forward to seeing what our scholars are capable of!”
SPARK Carlswald is a pilot project with the view to rolling Hour of Code out across the rest of the SPARK primary school network during 2019.
Finastra is also training SPARK staff so that it is sustainable and replicable into future years.