Nadine Umwali wins scratch competition

Nadine Umwali, a primary six student from Nyarugenge district won the third edition of One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) scratch competition. Dan Nsengiyumva

Nadine Umwali, a primary six student from Nyarugenge district won the third edition of One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) scratch competition, with her project named ‘Visit Rwanda’.

Umwali beat 29 other students, who pitched their projects at Hilltop Hotel in Kigali on Friday.

She made a video with scratch-a block-based visual programming language and online community, primarily targeting children and also demonstrated the importance of environmental conservation and some of the country’s tourism places and animals.

She said her project aimed at encouraging Rwandans to visit the tourism destination in the country.

“I think Rwandans no longer take it seriously. So in my project, I used cartoons so that even young children who love them can grow up knowing what ‘Visit Rwanda is’.

She then requested authorities to help street children access what other children are accessing.

OLPC scratch competitions aim to build the capacity of students to think creatively, evaluate the level of usage of XO laptops, and motivate young students to use ICT.

The competition started at school level where 416 students competed to represent their districts.

Isaac Kwizera, a primary five student from Gasabo district finished in second position. His project was called ‘prevention of Ebola’, and he portrayed the do’s and don’ts in prevention of Ebola, symptoms, and measures taken by the government to fight the disease.

In third place was Abdoul Hategekimana, from Rubavu district. His project, ‘beautiful Rwanda’, showed touristic places in the country, Made in Rwanda’s Mara phone, new infrastructure like the Kigali Convention Centre, and the Rwanda-PSG deal.

All of the projects pitched were in the form of illustrations and the students had two weeks to work on their projects.

The corporate service division manager in Rwanda Education Board (REB), JanvierNkurikiyinka said the students could be admitted to the Rwanda Coding Academy.

“We can’t stop from here. We are planning that in the near future, these children, at least the top three, could be assisted further. We have Rwanda Coding Academy, which just ended its first year. If these students pursue ICT further, it would be easier for us to admit them in the Academy.”

Nkurikiyinka further noted that 64 per cent of schools across the country have implemented the One Laptop Per Child project.

Pachat Pacifique Hategekimana, who represented the Rwanda Information Society Authority (RISA) and the Ministry of ICT also said the ministry, RISA and REB will help the students develop their skills further.

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