The Sunday Mail
Infant computer education got a major boost when 60 infants between the ages of three and six years from 15 pre schools took part in the in a pre-school computer skills competition held at Longcheng Plaza last week under the theme “grooming globally competitive technological whizkids.” The expo was organised by Dzidzo Inhaka Audio Visual Learning.
Pre-schools that participated included Sheali ECD, Shine Stars, Shalom Junior, Champions for Life, Little Rubbies, Rutendo, Woodbridge, Peter Piper, Great Hope, Trinity, Blessed Angels, Jingle Jingle and Royal Hearts much to the amazement of their parents of the kids.
The competition had four categories. In the three years category Desire Nyamande (Shalom), Tawananyasha Gwagwa (Agape) and Rufaro Mawoko (Blessed Angels) were the top performers in doing painting activities.
Top participants for the four year category who out shone others in solving puzzles were Jesca Marufu (Shine Star), Simon Makoni (Peter Piper) and Tapiwanashe Chidzungudzungu (Agape).
Anopaishe Gwarazimba (Canonbury), Caroline Chiropa (little Rubbies) and Nyasha pamire (Agape) ruled the roost in five year old category where they did memory games and made rockets by dragging shapes.
In the six year category Misheck Mupangabuwe (Royal Hearts) ), Owami Nyasha Mabo (Agape) and Lucia Ngoreyemoto (Champions) emerged tops in the six year category where they were given an impromptu assignment to test their creativity and intellectual development through painting by mixing their own colours as well as drawing and painting shapes. All the children received certificates and the teachers of the top performing kids received tokens of appreciation. In an interview with the Bridge, Dzidzo Inhaka executive director Shepherd Chimururi said the Schools Computer Skills League — Infant Level has its roots in STEM.
“It is a national initiative whose goal is to promote computer skills for children between the ages of 3-6 years in a competitive atmosphere of a sporting discipline. It is designed to identify, groom nurture and foster the next generation of young tech savvy learners with the capacity to surpass inventions of technological icons like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerburg, etc.
“The competition’s alignment with the school STEM based curriculum enables students to apply what they learn. It is a great way to generate students’ and schools’ interest in the participating in information and communication technology (ICT) which in turn will lead to the growth of the ICT industry and the economy and inspire our own technological heroes. Our children should be able to get scholarships, engage in technological exchange programmes with other students from other countries and compete at global level. The computer skills exhibition has to turn into a full fledged competing league that is dedicated to increasing and enhancing computer science education and opportunities for all children in our nation from ECD Level up to ‘A’ Level,” he said
The competition was presided over by two renowned ECD ICT experts Elma Machakaire and Nerrisah Mafemera who assessed the abilities of pre readers who could neither read nor write of following instructions in executing a given task, keyboard and mouse handling skills, eye hand coordination, speed and time of completing task.