By Siphiwe Abraham, BSc- Business Administration, Asheshi University, Accra, Ghana
After attending public schools in Zimbabwe, where there is little to no IT or software-related education, I had no knowledge about coding or computer software before I started college. I am now in my fourth year of college and understand the benefits and importance of having computer skills. This is what motivated me to work with the
Spoken Tutorials business and helped establish it in Zimbabwe. Spoken Tutorials is a platform for learning various Free and Open-Source Software. It allows anyone with access to a computer to learn multiple coding languages and other software independently without needing a teacher. One can follow the step-by-step tutorials on their own and achieve the desired results. This is a great option for Zimbabwe because a very small number of qualified teachers can teach this material, particularly in public schools. If a student desires to learn to code, their best bet is to enroll in a private school that offers these lessons. However, private schools are extremely expensive for most Zimbabweans. Therefore, Spoken Tutorials will be the best option to reach the masses and help students discover new areas of interest. I was excited because it would be a chance to advance digital literacy in my country.
I conducted research and made plans to deploy Spoken Tutorials in Zimbabwe. I spent two months interacting with different high schools and institutions, learning more about their activities in terms of IT education and marketing the importance and usefulness of Spoken Tutorials to them. I enjoyed the work as it allowed me to be out and about, meet
new people and learn more about their organizations. However, the major challenge I encountered was communication which was very slow in terms of email correspondence. I curbed it by making in-person visits and frequently following up with phone calls. From this, I learned to be tenacious because I strongly believe in the Spoken Tutorials’ vision to increase digital literacy worldwide. I also worked hard to make my interviewees see this vision. Therefore my advice to future interns would be not to be discouraged if things are not going your way and to be tenacious, especially if it is for something you believe in. As it was a remote internship, I looked forward to the weekly check-in meetings with Mr.Agarwal, my supervisor. I would present my findings, and he would help me map out the work I needed to do and give great insights and advice whenever I faced a problem. The use of spoken tutorials can mean more avenues of IT-related employment for Zimbabweans, and I am glad to have been a part of that.