Ethiopia’s ed-tech startup BeBlocky, teaches Kids how to Code

Futurists say the future belongs to the machines; robotics, big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. To put that into perspective, 47% of current jobs will be taken over by machines.

Yeah most of us are going to lose our jobs to some damn algorithm or a workaholic robot that never sleeps or gets tired. What a bummer, right?

Well, startups such as BeBlocky thinks instead of fighting these tech revolutions threatening our livelihood. We can instead ride the wave, and when it breaks on the shore, we can land safely on our feet. However, before we get into that, here are some insights.

The STEM fields keep churning more job opportunities, and of all the fields, the computing sector is creating 71% of the new jobs. However, the number of STEM graduates entering the market with a computer science degree only stands at 8%.

While it is true that technology will in the near future take over most jobs. It is also creating more job opportunities for the highly technical fields of STEM, and if anything there is currently a shortage of professionals.

BeBlocky training Kids to Code

There is a concerted effort around the world to introduce kids to programming as early as possible. The continent of Africa has been on this bandwagon for some time now, and the latest effort towards that front comes in the form of an Ethiopian startup BeBlocky.

Since the future will be more intertwined with technology, Africa needs to position itself as a producer of tech solutions instead of just a consumer. Therefore, it is vital that kids from around the continent are encouraged to pursue education and career in STEM.

Nathan Damtew, the founder and CEO of BeBlocky believes it is essential that kids in Africa learn the essential skills that will be in demand in this tech-centric world.

Everything we interact with involves some kind of technology in it. We are living in a technological society, and it is only going to grow in the future,” said Damtew during an interview with a section of the media.

It’s becoming more and more important to gain skills in coding nowadays, especially for young kids. As technology continues to move to the forefront in our society, jobs requiring basic computational skills are soaring.

Just knowing the basics of coding should give kids a set of skills that will be useful in almost every industry, and give them a huge advantage over those who don’t.”

Related: Mobile Phones could offer Computer Science students in Africa the solution to lack of access to Computers

How does Coding with BeBlocky work?

The startup has gamified code lessons for kids, making it fun and easy to learn. They have developed a mobile app, which already has garnered over a thousand downloads since its launch in June 2019.

The learning materials are aimed at kids aged between seven and 14 years old. Learners are presented with graphical puzzle-like programming blocks. If there is one thing we know about gaming, it is that they can easily draw you in and become submerged into it.

As the kids get submerged into the game, they learn the basics in coding. Sparking in them an interest in pursuing further education and careers in STEM. Startups like BeBlocky are sowing the seeds to better prepare the African continent to be a producer of tech solutions, and no longer a consumer as has largely been the case in the past.

Below, is a video of Nathan Damtew pitching BeBlocky to TechCrunch’s Disrupt.

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Felix Omondi

Kenyan citizen with a passion for writing for as long as I can remember. In my spare time, I like to blog and read up on trends that's happening around the world.

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