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High Schools Should Adopt Web Development As A Subject

Posted by radio On November - 21 - 2019

CodeJIKA.com encourages educators to schedule Web Development as a vocational subject for a term in 2020

 

Offering a platform for educators who want to push their learners to pursue new opportunities, youth empowerment initiative CodeJIKA has developed an easy and cost-effective way for schools to equip their learners with the skills they need for a prosperous future.

 

Spearheaded by South African non-profit organisation Code for Change, CodeJIKA is an initiative that arms South African high schoolers with digital and coding skills that empower them for digital entrepreneurship or employment. All that’s needed to get the programme under way at your school is a functional PC lab and a slot in the school timetable for one term – the minimum time it takes to teach a basic web development course as a vocational subject.

 

That means schools needn’t worry about costly infrastructure, reliable Internet access or the cost of publishing and delivering updated curricula. All educators need to equip their students for the future is to commit a term to the CodeJIKA programme.

 

Adopting Web Development as a subject is actually quite simple and can be implemented by schools independently. CodeJIKA works with provinces and districts to provide a one-day training workshop that introduces educators to the curriculum, detailing the programme goals and teaching them how to facilitate web development learning.

 

Teachers don’t need to understand coding concepts and can simply implement the programme as a facilitator who encourages deep learning capabilities among students. The secret to teaching Web Development is allowing learners to experiment in small groups, so that when they get stuck, they can solve the problem as a team. This also stimulates critical thinking and encourages learners to gain a conceptual understanding of the code.

 

Research proves that learners who work with their peers to solve a problem in this way begin to understand the concepts of a subject much quicker than when they attempt to study solo. Those who learn to work in a group setting are more adept at problem solving and don’t only memorise formulas to regurgitate in an exam setting.

 

In partnership with educational authorities, CodeJIKA encourages districts, schools and provinces to schedule vocational Web Development as a high school subject from Grade 8. Further, the initiative seeks to develop Web Development as a a Grade 10 elective from 2020.

 

CodeJIKA’s 16-session basic programme kicks off with tasks like saving a notepad file as an html, calculating using JavaScript and learning what codes one would need to add emoji’s to a website. The curriculum is therefore inclusive, fun and applicable for young people, showing them how to create the technology they use daily.

 

Why is coding important?

With government establishing a 4IR Commission to ensure that South Africa is equipped to survive and thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, it’s never been more crucial for our youth to enter the job market with the appropriate digital skills needed to navigate the current realm of ongoing disruptive change.

 

And while the Department of Basic Education is making moves to introduce digital skills and coding at foundation phase, CodeJIKA believes it’s just as important to bridge the gap for secondary school learners.

 

“A systemic shift needs to take place where coding is seen as a critical and necessary skill that forms part of the national CAPS curriculum, rather than as an extracurricular activity,” says Code for Change operations head Mpho Segolela.

 

He believes the best time to introduce coding to our current generation of schoolgoers is before they matriculate, as the job market can be frustrating and overwhelming, especially considering the current economic climate and vast social challenges across South Africa.

 

How does CodeJIKA empower our youth?

Driven by an innate desire to reverse the country’s high unemployment rate, CodeJIKA came up with a solution to empower high school learners with skills that they can monetise while still in school and once they’ve graduated.

 

The CodeJIKA programme is a free self-learning curriculum – available both online and offline – that uses standard PC programmes.

 

These skills give learners the edge, setting them apart in the eyes of universities and employers alike. “Not only are CodeJIKA graduates prepared to progress with ease into programming or coding-related professions, but they’re also adept critical thinkers and problem solvers with basic project management skills,” says Segolela.

 

“Our students acquire these skills through working with peers on both CodeJIKA and self-initiated projects. The programme is developing our youth into confident and motivated members of society who are capable of solving problems using digital skills,” he adds.

 

The CodeJIKA curriculum therefore offers a much-needed vocational digital skillset that provides a crucial entry-point into many other skills and opportunities at school, in university and in the modern labour market.

 

What can you do to empower our youth?

CodeJIKA is urging local education stakeholders – including government, teachers, principals and parents – to help bring coding to 250 or more schools in 2020 by introducing Vocation Web Development into the mainstream curriculum.

 

We are partnering with any provinces, districts and schools that would like to start rolling out coding in secondary schools.

 

Take action now by visiting www.codejika.com to get in-touch with our team. Schools that are interested in offering the course as a subject in the 2020 school year can sign up at www.codejika.com/schools and will receive free advice on how to schedule and facilitate the course.

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