CODING IN SOUTH AFRICA POLOKWANA Primary School

On Monday 4 of March I was just in time at the mall where Phuti Ragophala picked me up. We drove for more than one hour to the Kgetsa Primary school in Ga-Maja. When we arrived there were two small boys who opened the gate. The looked at me and said “lekgowa”, Phuti laughed and said, they say you are a white person. We parked the car and more children looked at me in surprise. We first went to the principal’s office and we talked to the principal of the school Jonas Letsoala and I talked to a small group of teachers, where I told them what I was going to do. Then we walked into the classroom and we turned on a few laptops. More laptops came and all had to be connected to the Wi-Fi. The internet was really slowly and I was afraid, that working with the micro:bit would be really difficult. Some more kids came into the classroom and I started off with those kids. While I was explaining and setting them up, more and more students came in different uniforms from other schools with a teacher. In the end almost all the students had made some basic projects with the micro:bit.

When the students where finished then the teachers had their turn. I gave small presentation about Computational thinking. And then we wanted to do some practical exercises with scratch. But sadly the internet had given up, so we there was no practical part in the workshop. I suggested them that they should download scratch on their computers, and try that at their school. We finished with a pictures of all the students and the teachers from the different schools. Every school received a micro:bit so they could try it again at their schools.

Then Phuti drove me back to Polokwane where we had lunch and then we had to hurry because her community children were waiting at her house. When we arrived at her house, there were 20 children waiting outside and all excited to see us. My friend came along and we started as quickly as possible. I first started off with an unplugged activity. One of the children was a robot and had to sit in a chair and the other kids had to walk him around the chair. Then I started with the CodeWise cards and the kids loved it. The next activity was an unplugged activity how a computer is sorting himself. So I handed out papers and the kids had to set up a line and had to look at the numbers on their paper. They had to make sure that all the numbers where in a line from 1 till 100. The first time it took them quite a long time, but the second time they did it very quickly. Then I showed it to the children the Quiver colouring papers and the merge cube. The where really excited and started colouring and cutting the cube. And last but not least we were treated with some beautiful songs and dances. It was really touching and I had to join in the last dance.

Share this: