During the last week of my Diwali vacations, I had the wonderful opportunity to be part of Project GEIT (Goans Empowered with Information Technology) and teach Scratch programming as a volunteer instructor to students at 3 village schools.
The project was divided into 10-day camps conducted at the following schools:
- Azmane High School – Neura
- St. Bartholomew’s High School – Chorao
- Dayanand High School – Gokuldem
The aim of Project GEIT is to inculcate knowledge of computer programming and logical reasoning in village school students at an early age.
A huge advantage of using Scratch over many other development environments is:
- It has a very well-designed Graphical User Interface which makes it easy for even complete beginners to learn programming on their own.
- All the required components (if, else, print, delay, etc.) are present in the form of colour-coded blocks with specified shapes depending on what type of block it is (e.g. Input blocks are light blue, function blocks are yellow, animation blocks are deep blue, etc.) The blocks are also labelled in simple language which makes programming very simple. All the person has to do is drag & drop the blocks in the right places to make their program.
- And best of all, it works offline! At such schools, where there is no internet/broadband connection, Scratch was a blessing!
Ms. Sangeeta Naik (Project Lead) and Mr. Vincent Toscano (Backup Lead and Chorao School anchor) introduced me to project GEIT and asked me whether I would like to volunteer.
I jumped at the opportunity and a few days later, took my first session at Azmane High School (17th November). Following that, I went to St. Bartholomew’s High School (19th & 20th November) and Dayanand High School (21st November).
It was amazing to see so much enthusiasm in the students, many of whom share a passion for coding. The excited grins on their faces on accomplishing the challenges thrown to them, was priceless.
I thoroughly enjoyed the interactive sessions at all the schools and met some wonderful people. It was an incredible learning experience and one of my most well-spent vacations.
Thank you GEIT, for giving me the opportunity to be part of this revolution.
Special thanks to Sangeeta Naik, Vincent Toscano, Jessica D’Abreo, Mona Parras and Pradeep Gaonkar.
Press conference at Goa Chamber of Commerce & Industry at the end of the 10-day camp