New campaign strategy: teach people code!

Trycolyn Pikirayi Avatar
Lady using mobile phone

We can’t over emphasise the importance of learning code (biased as we may be) but by taking a look at some case studies of countries like the US and England that are promoting the exercise, you’ll discover that we’re actually justified. Of course we not saying everyone’s professional job should be coding, but we’re saying learning code should be as basic as learning Maths and English.

Well, glad someone (who is not a techie) picked that up and has started a coding initiative called CODE <MP/> Fadzayi Mahere, an advocate of the High Court and Supreme Court of Zimbabwe is the brains behind this initiative. It is part of her campaign as an Independent candidate running for the Member of Parliament position in the Mount Pleasant constituency.

However, for the CODE <MP/> campaign to come to fruition, there is need for interested parties to donate their old but working laptops and/or desktops. Here’s the flier circulating on social media:

The initiative is centred on two things which are: i) teaching grade 5 pupils at least one programming language and ii) teaching computer literacy skills to all who need them. So not only does this initiative achieve the obvious in terms of equipping people with the so much needed skills, but it also creates a couple of jobs for the tutors (unless i’ts just my assumption that they will be getting paid). Obviously, the jobs created won’t total 2.2 million, but it’s a starting point which we hope other constituents can take up as well.

This initiative will not just end at ‘teaching or learning code’ but it will improve on how people appreciate the whole programming business. See, the greater the appreciation of code people develop, the greater the chances of creating an industry in that field. I know this sounds super ambitious but allow me to call it hope. Or maybe I’m just super excited by the fact that unlike the usual ‘give them food and/or seed’ or worse, ‘beat them up’ typa campaign, this is actually different and quite relevant particularly in this age.

So whether it’s just a campaign strategy or genuine interest, we support it because at the end of the day people will learn how to code!



  1. MuvoniSeer

    Noble initiative but there is also that AI will kill a lot of coding. Humans will not be able to code a fraction of what AI will do (and this is in less than 15 years from now. They will helplessly watch their skills become irrelevant) By the time 5 year olds of today are 20, their coding skills won’t be needed. It’s a good thing to introduce kids to computers but not for the sole purpose of preparing them to be “future” coders. I think we should instead be preparing kids for what AI will do. I hope the implementers of CODE have this bigger view.

    1. tinm@n

      Maybe comment on issues you understand.

      AI us actually creating whole fields of opportunities…. everywhere!!

  2. Sagitarr

    Good luck in your endeavour Fadzayi.
    I beg to differ with @MuvoniSeer – given that one of the definitions of AI is “… the science and engineering of making intelligent machines, especially intelligent computer programs.”, writing computer programs will be very relevant in future, the programs will simply be more complex or perform more complex tasks where humans are slow, inefficient or risk averse e.g. in autonomous vehicles.
    Like many other people, I was introduced to programming using BASIC language, for obvious reasons. It was shipped with MSDOS as QBasic or GWBasic or similar variants and was quite fast at execution for an interpreted language.
    I think that “capping” oneself to coding can become a huge waste if one doesn’t develop their design skills because ultimately the most robust systems are a product of solid engineering design. Which explains the paradigm shift from procedural to object-oriented design.

  3. TheKing

    I think we should just focus on keeping kids in school. Over focusing on one field will not help us. What’s the point of teaching someone a skill that won’t get them a job? Truth is we tend to follow world trends that do not necessarily apply to our unique situation. Right now the government is driving a STEM initiative in the hope of reviving the economy, i.e they are copying the world STEM trends. Zim is a unique case, unlike other countries, we do not have a shortage of STEM graduates. We have a lot of them. Our problem is they do not have the experience required to start their own initiatives. Our situation requires that the unemployed graduates get internships and mentorships. Rather than increase the number of STEM graduates, let’s focus on employing the many we already have.

    Another problem we have is all the STEM initiatives are being driven by clueless people who have never studied nor understand Science fields, i.e Jonathan Moyo and now recently Fadzayi Mahere in her constituency. The blind cannot lead the blind

  4. Sagitarr

    @TheKing … I’m sure you’ll agree that it is better to light a candle than curse the darkness….