In my field of practice as an ICT trainer for the last eight years teaching web development and design, I have come across many students who are afraid of computer programming languages such as PHP and JQuery. Thus many opt for the visual look and feel, especially using Photoshop thinking that it easier than any other application. The fact is that it all boils down to learning the basics, being passionate, having good communication skills, listening skills, attitude, being pro-active, learning by doing etc. These are the key ingredients that you need to develop a strong mind set and skill set to make things flow towards your preferred career. “There’s no substitute for anything in life, you have to put hours of continuous research and learning. Open your eyes!” Wilson Masaka
During the first introductory sessions little do my students know that all subjects are important aspects of being a great web developer / web designers. I had the privilege to train 50 students at Nairobits Media lab (advanced level) the fundamentals of web design from both the technical and creative side. I must acknowledge that it is a journey worth traveling with the students and I not only teach them to be designers and programmers but also to be responsible citizens of our great nation. On the periphery I also learn a lot in the process and that is why I love teaching with passion and it is more of a mission or a calling.
I believe that no one was born stupid and at the same time with the know-how to do things. You have to start somewhere and that is why I advocate for self exploration for that special gift, passion, dream and talent that you have that makes you stand out from the rest.
In a class we might have slow learners, fast learner etc. It is our duty as students and trainers to learn more about ourselves and seeks necessary help from our mentors who are within our reach in times of need either in person or virtually on the internet. “If you do not plan, you plan to fail” this is one of best quotes I usually remember while conducting lectures which are intense, comprehensive and interesting.
I would wish if it is possible to make computer accessible to all age groups, of course with some guidance from all levels of our education sector. I believe that some schools have already embraced the advent of technology in their curriculum from the pre-units to universities but the only concern that I have, which is also shocking, is that this only happens in the well do families (upper class).
Things might vary from one country to the other but I am talking about my beloved country, Kenya. How many schools in the under developed (slums) areas teaches computers to the young kids let say among 10 -12yrs?
If we want great designers and programmers in future, I believe that computer introduction should be integrated as part of the curriculum in all the levels of the education sector to nurture and develop passion in the use of ICT. The question is, as one who has experienced the challenges in education coming from a humble background in the slums of Mathare, Where would I be if I was introduced to computers when I was 12yrs? This is the mind boggling question even though it’s never too late, so let us teach our son’s and daughter‘s how to use computers at tender age.
Remember the world waits at no one, things are moving at fast speed and we need to embrace technology if we want to join the so call first world countries.
To be honest I did not dream of one day doing computers in my life, it came as a surprise from my football and community service engagements with MYSA (www.mysakenya.org) and from there I developed the interest of learning computers when it was introduced to us by the Nairobits founders. In that regard, I thank everyone who us made this journey a success and special acknowledgement goes to Emer Beamer, Hester Hezra, Fiona, Ineke Aquarius, Faith Longwe, Warimu just to name but a few…
“I will strive to inspire many young people to be positive change-makers in our communities hereby engaging with the right networks that help uplift and realize their dreams, which is why we are working hard to see Wilsen initiative a reality”.
“Let us think food, shelter, housing, clothing, water and technology as the basic need in the 21st Century” Wilson Masaka founder of Wilsen Initiative