Duadaso Number One (B/R), Jan. 17, GNA – A scratch coding pilot programme for the development of Equitable Creative Coding Resources (ECCRs) has been organised for selected pupils and students drawn from 17 basic schools in the Jaman North District of Bono Region.
Mr Gabriel Kwadwo Afram, an Information Communication Technology (ICT) teacher at Sunyani Senior High School (SUSEC), the creator and organiser of the programme told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview after the event at Duadaso Number One in the district where it was held.
The programme is the second of its kind following a successful maiden edition that involved 11 schools in Sunyani and aimed at testing the effectiveness of Physical 3D Scratch blocks for creative coding.
According to Mr Afram, he was awarded a grant of US$15,000 from the Scratch Foundation, a renowned non-profit- making organisation based in the United States of America (USA) to develop the scratch blocks as part of the Scratch Education Collaborative (SEC) 2022-2024 Cohort.
The funding, he said, had been instrumental in supporting the creation of prototypes for the blocks, saying the prototypes included tactile sprites and backdrops that could be manipulated during hands-on creative learning activities.
Mr. Afram described the programme as “very innovative and highly creative” because “the blocks have been made using locally sourced materials, showcasing the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the project.”
He said the Scratch Foundation was dedicated to equipping young people with the necessary digital tools and open opportunities to imagine, create and share ideas through coding.
By supporting initiatives like that pilot programme, the Foundation was actively contributing to the development of a generation of digitally literate individuals who could thrive in the modern world, Mr. Afram said.
He explained “the SEC aimed at supporting and engaging organisations worldwide in a two-year collaborative cohort experience, fostering their commitment to equitable creative coding using Scratch and Scratch under the auspices of The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).”
Mr Afram emphasised the impressive abilities of the students, saying they demonstrated their aptitude for creating
simple tasks using the available resources and therefore commended them for their creative ideas.
He encouraged the students to remain determined and focused on their pursuit of ICT knowledge and advised them not to be discouraged by their geographical locations, emphasising that they possessed the capability to make a significant impact on the world with a strong mindset.
Mr. Afram lauded the participating schools, teachers, pupils, and students for their innovative ideas displayed during the two demonstration exercises held in Sunyani and Duadaso Number One “by effectively utilising coding blocks, demonstrating their ability to cultivate creativity, logical reasoning and problem-solving skills.”
He announced plans to establish Scratch programming clubs in selected schools, saying that even in the absence of computers, students could still develop their creativity and problem-solving skills through the aid of scratch blocks.