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Computer Science Africa
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Manifesto

The problem, the solution, the next steps.

6 minutes

Table of contents

Our Philosophy

We believe that computer science and the tools it powers are essential in today's world. To be prepared to fully embrace the 21st century and be a successful agent of its economy, students must have a clear understanding of the different aspects of computer science.

CSAfrica follows standards to build groundbreaking 3-year curricula designed to equip these forthcoming African leaders with the necessary skills and knowledge to become creators of technologies.

With our learning portal, we register each student and assign them to projects to accomplish all on our platform. With the platform, students can still learn in absence.

  • Our first step is to expose students to computer science and teach them critical thinking skills that will be used in fields beyond computer science.
  • Second step is a deeper exploration of facets of computer science.
  • Thirdly, we guide them in applying the skills gained in step 1 and 2 by building practical projects and are targeted to students with a special interest in computer science.

Projects include mobile apps, websites, games, robotics, and IoT. All powered by AI, VR, AR, etc

Why?

Reason we're teaching students to computing science concepts.

Students especially girls shy away from Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), some having the impression that it is meant for only boys and others believing they cannot do it because people say it is hard. This affects Africa as a continent known for the utilisers of technology but not its creators.

Introducing the concepts taught in Computer Science in College is too late. These concepts should have been made known to students in elementary schools, but here we are starting at high schools.

They must begin to work on algorithmic problem solving and computational thinking and tools as early as possible. Students are naturally curious and innovative, and these two characteristics are the core drivers of Computer Science. Young children are amazed by the magical power of computing and eager to learn and become prepared for more challenging concepts and projects.

The truth is, children in this part of the world tend to remain dormant to being curious and innovative, and we cannot blame them, the cause is where we found ourselves in the universe. They lack IT tools and ultimately motivations to ignite their interests in being tech creators. Honestly, we cannot blame anybody, or maybe we can blame everybody. We have no time to wait for our leaders. Collectively, with open mindsets, we can and will be the leaders of the new school.

All of today's students will be citizens of a world heavily influenced by computing, and many will work in fields that directly involve computing. Computing is an invaluable literacy applicable to virtually any future career or field of study. Studies predict that as early as 2020, we are going to be 1,000,000,000 short of programmers and colleges, and are expected to graduate only 13% of the CS engineers.

Exposing students earlier to Computer Science (CS) or programming increases their chance by 30% to continue in this field later on in their studies.

Computer science is very essential.
Here is why?

  • Computer Science is intellectually important: It's easy to foresee a future where computers will master almost every task and decision we encounter. Everybody should understand how the machines operate when performing those tasks so we can make sense of it.
  • Computer Science leads to multiple career paths: Many of tomorrow's jobs have not been invented yet. Professionals in every discipline—from artists to health care professionals, to small business owners, to retail store staff— will need to understand computing to be productive and competitive in their fields.
  • Computer Science teaches problem solving: Computer science is a tool to solve problems. The first step to solve a problem is to understand it clearly. Once a solution is implemented, it must be tested. Computer scientists draw on their training and experience to confront problems and to create the best possible solutions.
  • Computer Science supports and links to other Sciences: Today programs and simulations are created to discover new medical treatment, understand the complexity of the brain, create fast response plans in case of a forest fire, build bridges that sustain seismic activities, design cars that would drive us, understand insect activity patterns etc..
  • Computer Science can engage all students: Computer science applies to virtually every aspect of life, so that it can be easily tied to myriad student interests. From music, to history, from mathematics to literature, we can engage students in Computer Science by having them apply the projects to what they like the most.
How?

Our curriculum focuses on:

  • Computational Thinking: “CT is an approach to solving problems in a way that can be implemented with a computer. Students be- come not merely tool users but tool builders. They use a set of concepts, such as abstraction, recursion, and iteration, to process and analyze data, and to create real and virtual artifacts. CT is a problem-solving methodology that can be automated and transferred and applied across subjects. The power of computational thinking is that it applies to every other type of reasoning. It enables all kinds of things to get done: quantum physics, advanced biology, human–computer systems, development of useful computational tools.”
    -- Barr and Stephenson (2011)
  • Collaboration: Computer Scientists work in collaboration to solve complex problems. To teach collaboration skills, we ask students to program in pairs (peer programming). We also emphasize teamwork, constructive criticism, project planning and management, and team communication, all of which are considered necessary 21st Century skills.
  • Computing Practice and Programming: Students learn how to choose the correct tool to better create their solution (databases, file storage, application program interface (API)). They learn programming languages and create applications.
  • Computers and Communication Devices: It is necessary to understand computer devices and networks. We, for example, teach the different components of a computer and how the internet works.
  • Community, Global, and Ethical impacts: As soon as students begin using the Internet, they should learn the norms for its ethical use. Principles of personal privacy, network security, software licenses, and copyrights must be taught at an appropriate level in order to prepare students to become responsible citizens in the modern world.

Approach

We're big fans of active learning rather than passive learning

Still have questions?