Diji: Empowering African Youth Through Language-Specific Digital Learning

Diji is an innovative digital learning platform providing short, skills-based courses in African languages. The platform’s primary objective is to empower post-school, unemployed, or under-employed African youth by offering learning opportunities in their native languages. Delivered via mobile browser or chat applications, Diji makes learning accessible and practical.

The Challenge

Before Diji, there was a significant gap in accessible, skills-based learning resources in African languages. The platform sought to address this issue and empower African youth with new skills to increase their employability or to start their businesses.

The Solution

Diji was developed with the user’s needs in mind. Research and feedback were gathered from over 8,500 people, with an overwhelming 94.5% expressing a desire to learn in their mother tongue and on their phones. The instructional design of the courses was carefully tailored to be accessible on both a browser and chat applications, and the content was made data-conscious to accommodate users with limited data access. The platform was piloted with Zulu and expanded to include Xhosa, Swahili, and Yoruba.

A significant partnership was formed with Turn.io, providing access to their messaging platform for six months. This enabled Diji to build, test, and implement their learning chat application.

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Empowering Africa’s Future Through the Mandela Day Coding Tournament

As the African continent gears up to commemorate the annual Mandela Day, there’s palpable anticipation in the air, particularly among those connected to Tangible Africa. This non-profit organization’s flagship event, the Mandela Day Coding Tournament, is poised to make a significant splash.

The tournament had an impressive engagement with 6,000 participants across South Africa the previous year. However, the event this year is poised to eclipse that record. Tangible Africa aims to host nearly 100 coding tournaments, an ambitious endeavour expected to draw more than 10,000 learners from different regions.

With the steadfast support of the primary sponsor, AWS InCommunities, and increasing participation from regional sponsors recognizing the initiative’s potential, Tangible Africa is strategically positioned to stage possibly the world’s largest Mandela Day event.

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Teaching Coding and Robotics Intermediate Phase

Developing such skills around Coding and Robotics at an early age prepares young learners for a technology-driven world and nurtures problem-solving abilities and creativity. As a result, schools are eager to integrate these subjects into their curriculum, particularly during the Intermediate Phase.

Introducing coding and robotics in the classroom may initially appear daunting, but creating engaging and fun learning experiences is possible with the right tools and strategies. Educators should prioritise a practical approach, utilising hands-on activities that promote learner exploration and collaboration. Moreover, they must recognise that teaching these subjects entails fostering an environment of patience, encouragement and adaptability.

Educators can incorporate a variety of resources, such as online platforms, visual programming tools and programmable robots, to aid in teaching learners about the fundamentals of coding and robotics. By starting with the basics, progressively building upon concepts, and allowing learners to experiment with their creations, it’s likely that young learners will develop an abiding interest in these fields, setting them up for future success.

Make sure to select the right robotics kit for Intermediate Phase learners

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