Bus creates new opportunities

2017-05-31 06:02
At least 46 high school learners from Galeshewe benefitted from a successful one day CodeBus Africa creative coding workshop for youths that was held on Monday, 22 May, at the SMME Village in Kimberley. Precious Moratwe, a Gr. 9 learner of the Tetlayo High School, also attends the workshop.Photos: Boipelo Mere

At least 46 high school learners from Galeshewe benefitted from a successful one day CodeBus Africa creative coding workshop for youths that was held on Monday, 22 May, at the SMME Village in Kimberley. Precious Moratwe, a Gr. 9 learner of the Tetlayo High School, also attends the workshop.Photos: Boipelo Mere

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Chances are good that Kimberley may see the birth of a new Information Technology (IT) laboratory thanks to a partnership between the Northern Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism, Geekulcha and the Embassy of Finland in Pretoria.

This follows a successful one-day CodeBus Africa creative coding workshop for youths at the SMME at which Village in Kimberley at least 46 high school learners from Galeshewe benefitted on Monday, 22 May.

CodeBus Africa is a 100-day bus tour focused on technology and youth empowerment which brings together African and Finnish innovations in technology and education to organise creative coding workshops for the youth in ten African countries.

CodeBus South Africa is part of its celebrations in line with Finland’s 100 year celebration of its indepen-dence.

In partnership with the Finnish technology firm Nokia, the project aims to encourage girls to participate in the coding workshops and become creators of technology.

According to Sanna Leminea of the Finland Embassy, the South African tour is organised by Finland’s Aalto University and local tech start-up accelerator mLab, with the support of the Embassy of Finland in Pretoria.

Kimberley, Johannesburg, Tshwane and Cape Town are said to be the benefitting South African leg of the programme.

The learners, boys and girls, have the opportunity to get much needed introduction to computer programs that are rated as important to every young person.

The programme is made exciting to the young, making them bosses of computers and making it a positive experience.

“This is a big year for us, thus we decided to celebrate it differently through technology and innovation, which is our strong point,“ said Irena Bakie of Finland’s Aalto University.

“We want to share our qualities with young people, especially with girls, who tend to be less recognised in the IT field.”

Deon Geyser, head of subregion Southern Africa at Nokia, said: “The theme of Finland 100 is ‘Together’ and I am confident the CodeBus reflects our commitment to work together with South Africa to tackle challenges such as youth unemployment.”

According to Geyser, the workshops aim to promote inclusive innovation and inspire more girls and boys in South Africa to take an interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, even as possible career choices.

“We are proud of every opportunity to show our capacity in shaping the future of technology, which transforms the human experience.

“The CodeBus initiative is an occasion to lead African and Finnish innovators in joining forces, empowering Africa’s youth, allowing them to explore and experience innovation transforming their lives.”

Most of the learners, including Nozipho Borotelo, a Gr. 9 learner of the Thabane High School, saw the programme as a solution in their own communities, including their schools as it taught them the “need to know” about music codes and programmes.

An excited Borotelo said she will now also be able to assist her friends who want to be IT specialists with her knowledge.

Another learner, Thabo Solo of the Vuyolwethu High School, is now considering becoming an IT specialist as her second career choice due to the computer programming lessons that she received.

“I feel much equipped and ready to share my knowledge with my fellow learners and friends,” he said.

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