A Needs Assessment for Indigenous African Language-Based Programming Languages

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The development of an African native language-based programming language, using Yoruba as a case study, is envisioned. Programming languages based on the lexicons of indigenous African languages are rare to come by unlike those based on Asian and / or European languages. Availability of programming languages based on lexicons of African indigenous language would facilitate comprehension of problem-solving processes using computer by indigenous learners and teachers as confirmed by research results. In order to further assess the relevance, usefulness and needfulness of such a programming language, a preliminary needs assessment survey was carried out. The needs assessment was carried out through design of a structured questionnaire which was administered to 130 stakeholders in computer profession and computer education; including some staffers and learners of some primary, secondary and tertiary educational institutions in Oyo and Osun states of Nigeria, Africa. The responses to the questionnaire were analyzed using descriptive statistics. The analysis of the responses to the questionnaire shows that 89% of the respondents to the questionnaire expressed excitement and willingness to program or learn programming in their mother tongue-based programming language, if such a programming language is developed. This result shows the high degree of relevance, usefulness and needfulness of a native language-based programming language as well as the worthwhileness of embarking on development of such a programming language.

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