The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), through its Science and Mathematics Educator’s Federation (SMEF) Thaka-Khoali Programme held the 2020 African Code Challenge Winners Competition Awards ceremony under the African Code Week (ACW) initiative.

In his remarks, UNESCO Secretary General (SG) Teboho Tsilane informed that ACW is an annual event that Lesotho adopted in 2016. He noted that it was facilitated by UNESCO, working jointly with collective schools to spread digital literacy across the country and nurture the 21st Century era with skillful workforce through practical and playful learning.

“I congratulate all participating schools and learners this year, I hope that this initiative will also persist even in the countless upcoming years. Schools that participated in the 2020 ACW competition were Masitise High School, Thabeng High School and New Millennium High School,” Tsilane stated.

The UNESCO-SMEF programme is in its first year under ACW and is intended “to share with the Government of Lesotho (GoL), as a key stakeholder on how the initiative is advancing Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics, Design Thinking in a creative way through coding especially among the youth and children”. UNESCO-SMEF Ambassador and Trainer for ACW Scratch Programme Bokang Selialia explained that the purpose of the program is to train on and raise awareness of ICT to students and also to engage them in order to transform their education system, which requires excess knowledge of Mathematics.

Selialia explained that in the Africa Code Challenge Winners Competition, students’ teachers get involved, playing students’ mentors for their projects to be successful and be submitted to  Systems Applications and Products in Data Processing (SAP). The three winners; ‘Matumelo Makoa, Reamohetsoe Khomo-haka and Keabetsoe Mokhali were awarded trophies, certificates and compensations.

As indicated by Tsilane, these students participated in the three African Code Challenge projects precisely speeding calculator, Covid-19 awareness and maze games.

Therefore the 1st winner title went straight to ‘Matumelo Makoa from Masitise High School who participated in speeding calculator, coached by Mr. Sello Mpota, 2nd winner was Reamohetsoe Khomo-haka who participated in Covid-19 awareness coached by Mr. Malakoane Thejane while the third winner was Keabetsoe Mokhali from Thabeng High School coached by Mrs. ‘Maneo Mapharisa.