FOREIGN NEWS

Reading Difficulty: Nokia Partners Robotical for South Africa Pupils

As part of her corporate social responsibility (CSR), phone giant NOKIA is collaborating with tech company, Robotical, to render help to the pupils of the country’s black population who show a marked deficiency in reading, even after six years of primary school.

This noble gesture was announced on monday by Robotical, the manufacturers of the programmable and customizable robot for kids and educators, Marty. Both Nokia and Robotical will aim to achieve this via the inputs and collaboration with Got Game, a South African non governmental organisation, who are currently driving a “We Code” campaign.

The program will deliver Marty, to schools across South Africa, and will be part of a nationwide effort to make (computer) coding and programming skills obtainable for disadvantaged children in towns.

According to Deon Geyser, the Market Unit Head for Southern Africa at Nokia: “Nokia is committed to improving lives of local communities in various fields such as education. In South Africa, we are delighted to have launched this community initiative with Robotical. We were specifically drawn to Marty as the robot can be used by children of all ages. As their coding skills get more advanced, Marty can be scaled up accordingly.

“Projects like these can have a more sustainable impact on the lives of young people. Therefore, it’s important that tools can show value for a number of age groups and for long periods of time, but also be fun and entertaining for the children, otherwise they fall flat. Marty provides such a tool.”

According to IOL Tech, only about 4% of children in South Africa, proceed to the university level of education. That will surprise many. In fact, as much as 27% of pupils who have done six years in the primary school, cannot read. Compared to Tanzania with only 4 percent, it is a timely decision by Nokia, Got Game, and Robotical.

“Having access to such an innovative piece of tech as Marty the Robot is a really exciting step for us. The fact that our pupils can progress from basic Scratch coding through to more complex Python exercises is a real plus,” says Keane Small, project lead, Got Game.

Sources: Nokia; IOL Tech

Categories: FOREIGN NEWS

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