Musson Foundation, Halls of Learning host computer coding workshops
The Musson Foundation, in collaboration with tech-based social enterprise Halls of Learning, has continued on its path of preparing Jamaican students for an increasingly digitised world by hosting a series of Scratch Day computer coding workshops at five inner-city primary schools from May 16 to 27.
Four hundred students in grades two to four, from the Drews Avenue, Seaward, St Patrick, St Peter Claver, and North Street primary schools, participated in the global network of educational events celebrating ‘Scratch’ – the free computer coding platform and online community for children.
Using Scratch, the children were able to tinker, explore and create stories using a visual programming language. Through this activity, children learn to express themselves creatively, work collaboratively, and to solve problems systematically. These skills are not only relevant for coding, but are pertinent and useful in many other areas of life.
During the day’s activities, Musson Foundation Chairperson Melanie Subratie explained, “The foundation has once again chosen to support Scratch Day coding workshops in schools because we see the continued importance of building these skills from an early age. We specifically teamed up with inner-city institutions because, unfortunately, they often don’t have the resources to expose their students to activities such as coding. However, regardless of where they attend school, these children are Jamaica’s future and I believe they must be equipped with the necessary skills to compete in the modern world”.
Scratch Day events bring together young people from the Scratch community to share projects, learn from each other, and welcome newcomers. The workshops are aimed at promoting and encouraging the learning of coding skills among students from an early age to help prepare them for the modern world. The Musson Foundation is committed to continuing this initiative, reaching more and more students in inner-city schools each year.
Halls of Learning founder Marvin Hall also noted, “Being able to introduce students, regardless of their social background, to coding and robotics is the reason I began this organisation. The skills we are developing in these students today are things that have become a standard part of lessons in many other countries, and it is important that our children catch up to their counterparts around the world”.