UGANDA: The first Coding and Artificial Intelligence Class at Don Bosco Schools
By: John Paul M. MUGISHA
From the initiative of the Economer General of Salesians, Br. Jean Paul MULLER; starting with academic year 2022 both Saint Mary’s Secondary School and Don Bosco Vocational Training Centre of Bombo Salesian Community embraced the idea of teaching computer programming, coding and artificial intelligence.
35 students from Senior One and Senior Two and 15 students from upper classes and Vocational Training Center were enrolled in the programme.
With this programme learners are learning how to design and develop websites, mobile applications, database systems as well as machine learning and data science.
Computer programming or coding program is being taught in primary and secondary schools in developed countries.
Salesians believe that offering coding and artificial intelligence courses to students in developing countries like Uganda will produce a balance in digital divide mainly caused by the lack of financial capacity to afford these expensive programmes.
Due to a study the Don Bosco Vocational Centre conducted during the first term of 2022, it was observed that students in Senior One and Senior Two are able to learn and master elementary codes for web development in short time, whereas upper classes can move quickly to more advanced concepts.
Students have been receiving their lessons only two days in a week in 2 hours-sessions and it is observed that they are now able to create small projects with acquired skills. This allows students to engage in developing tangible intellectual properties and become project oriented.
The program will be extended to all Ordinary and Advanced levels and the main expected outcome is to produce future coders and computer scientist and thus create the first Don Bosco Coding and Artificial Intelligence Academy in the Province of Africa Great Lakes.