Two girls, Ornella Irahari from City of Kigali, and Remember Uwayezu of Kirehe district emerged the top winners of the sixth edition of the Scratch Programming Competition at the secondary school and primary school levels respectively. The annual competition, organized by the Rwanda Basic Education Board (REB), is an ICT national-level competition that brings together the best 60 students in primary and secondary schools, from all 30 districts in the country. ALSO READ: Education board to reduce student-textbook gap by 2025 The aim of this program is to enhance digital literacy and sharpen the programming skills of young learners while also preparing them for a career in the field of engineering. The program functions as an educational tool that employs a visual programming language. This enables students to craft a variety of interactive stories such as games, animations, music, art, and various project-oriented activities. The students are assessed based on their ability to think creatively and reason systematically as these skills are invaluable in nurturing 21st-century skills such as collaborative teamwork, computational thinking, and problem-solving. The competition lasted from April 17 to May 30. ALSO READ: All teachers will have laptops by 2025 - REB boss The recent flood disaster incidents (in the Western and Northern parts of Rwanda) were horrible and many children of my age or even younger died or lost their parents and relatives. I had to think of a solution that can prevent such events from happening again, said Uwayezu, the primary-six student whose project on Disaster Prevention emerged the best. Uwayezu's project aims to get young people involved in the prevention of disasters by imparting knowledge and encouraging them to share it with others. As she puts it, the project is centered around discourse, quizzes, and classroom debates to empower the youth and promote active involvement in disaster prevention. Diane Sengati Uwasenga, the Acting ICT Education Head of Department at REB, commended all the participants for their passion and showcased skills in ICT as well as teachers for their unwavering support throughout the competition. She remarked, This competition aims to promote innovation and creativity among learners, which enhances their critical thinking skills in ICT and sparks their curiosity to come up with real-life solutions at a young age. None of this would be possible without the educators who stand by their students every step of the way. Speaking at the event, Pascal Gatabazi, Chief Technical Advisor at the Ministry of Education, also lauded the young participants for their innovative projects and expressed optimism about the future. The quality of projects showcased by these youngsters is a testament to their capability and potential. It is truly amazing to see what they have achieved with limited resources. Our role is to facilitate continuous improvement and supply the much-needed ICT materials in schools, he added. The competition started from the school level up to the District level, with the best 30 winners at the district level proceeding to the national level, and it was concluded by an awarding ceremony that took place on June 7. All participants in the competition as well as teachers were given certificates. The winners were awarded with Positivo laptops, school bags, exercise books, and T-shirts. The top three winners at both primary and secondary levels were also awarded gold medals and trophies for Top winners.