Computer Science Education Botswana (CSEdBotswana) under the University of Botswana and supported by Diamond Trading Company Botswana (DTCB), recently brought together CS educators, officers, policymakers, industry players and researchers for the first ever Computer Science Education Summit in Gaborone. The summit was aimed to advance computer science education in Botswana schools and empower the next generation of innovators, problem solvers, and leaders in the digital era.

Speaking at the event, Assistant Minister of Ministry of Education and Skills Development,Hon. Nnaniki Makwinja, noted that the summit comes at an opportune time when the country needs to change the way it has been doing things. Hon. Makwinja highlighted the government’s commitment to digitisation, which is one of the priorities of President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s reset agenda. She also said the government has invested heavily in this regard by distributing more than 50 thousand gadgets to students and teachers in secondary schools. University of Botswana Chief Operations Officer, Mr Dawid Katzke, also noted that students need to learn computer science skills so that they can be creative in addressing societal challenges and also participate in the innovation space.

Over the course of the 2 days, attendees had the opportunity to participate in engaging panel discussions, and sessions led by local and international experts from USA, Netherlands and UK. The summit featured Professor Quintin Cutts, Director for Computer Science Education from the University of Glasgow as the keynote speaker who shared insights on the importance of computer science education.In her remarks, CSEdBotswana founding Director and lecturer in computer science education at the University of Botswana, Dr Ethel Tshukudu elaborated that CSEdBotswana aims to establish a systemic and sustainable process that engages all stakeholders in developing and implementing computer science education throughout Botswana. She said that implementing CS education may be challenging regarding curricula, students learning and teacher professional development. She also posited that this initiative would need strong partnerships and funding as well as noting that working together can bring unbounded potential for Batswana.

Other dignitaries who graced the event included Permanent Secretary Ministry of Communications, Knowledge and Technology, Pontsho Pusoetsile, Deputy Permanent Secretary Ministry of Education and Skills Development, Ms Lois Ngope, Managing Director Diamond Trading Company Botswana, Mr Sedireng Serumola, Dean Faculty of Education, Professor Lily Mafela, United States ECEP (Expanding Computing Education Pathways) delegation led by Dr Allyson Kennedy of the National Science Foundation and Professor Felienne Hermans from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

DTC Botswana, continues to drive positive change in our communities through such partnerships that strive to shape the future of our youngsters.

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