The fact that the world is currently digitising much of life’s activities has increased the need to learn coding and robotics. People’s lives have been surrounded by, and will continue to be surrounded by more digital devices using the principles of coding and robotics. Unfortunately, these lessons are rarely available in formal education sites especially in Indonesia and seldom in rural areas such as Melinggih Kelod, Payangan, where we are currently located.
Begawan is aware that education should remain meaningful and relevant to the current digital age. Thus, various digital lessons involving computers are available in the foundation. Scratch coding and robotics are among the lessons that the students are really interested in. Begawan is actively providing such valuable opportunities free of charge for the children in rural Bali.
The Scratch coding lesson at Begawan commenced in February this year. Up until now, there have been two groups of students with each group consisting of six students, one for each of Begawan’s computers. The first group completed the course in July 2022. The second group is expected to complete the course in February 2023.
In November, Begawan began robotics for the first group. This robotics course, developed in cooperation with Coderengers, is a continuation of the Scratch coding lessons. The students learn the basic parts of a robot as well as how to give commands to it through coding. Different from Scratch coding in which the students give commands to animations, robotics requires the students to give commands to real robots.
The students have been highly motivated to join this course. As Juna said, “I feel very happy with the robotics lessons because I can learn how to program a real robot, not only an animation. I have many toys at home that work differently and I am curious about how to make them.”
I Komang Suartama, the facilitator commented, “I think the robotics lesson will be very beneficial for the students because it will not only develop their knowledge and skills in robotics, but also accelerate desirable characters such as problem-solving, creativity, curiosity, resilience, and tenacity.”
Begawan hopes that the provision of the Scratch coding and robotics lessons will enrich the students’ future goals. Living in a rural area should not limit what they can learn and master. The only limit is their minds. (Irham)