Code Mashinani, is an education startup teaching digital fluency (computational thinking) through coding, robotics and game development to kids between 7 and 18 years in Kenya.
Code Mashinani is coined from Code and Mashinani is slang for grassroots. The platform is targeting kids in primary and high schools through school-based programs (Code Club & Café), holiday based programs (tech camps) in religious institution and institutions of higher learning and competitive programming events where kids compete on their problem solving & computational thinking skills.
According to Jesse Muchai, founder Code Mashinani, “We teach computational thinking through coding, game development and robotics.
Code Mashinani started as (Arts in The Community) with a lofty dream to build systems and infrastructure that create world-class talent at scale.”
Muchai says the idea, hatched early 2012, with a goal to teach 3 key competencies; computational thinking, creativity and inter-personal skills to school-going children before the age of 18 years.
This was to increase their ability to integrate into the current workforce as more than clueless jobseekers. Muchai says, initially, attention went to teaching creativity by setting up art centers in collaboration with religious institutions but this did not pick up and towards the end, parents requested teaching coding to their kids.
“At inception, very little attention was paid to teaching computational thinking as the government had just promised free laptops to primary school and we felt this itch would be scratched in the mid-term and only came around to it in 2016 when the request to teach coding became frequent enough for us to pay attention,” he told TechMoran.
“We want to transform people from consumers of technology into creators and innovators. One of our long-term goals is to help kids learn to think creatively, work collaboratively and reason systematically – from the youngest age,” Muchai added.