To prepare learners for the future workplace, education in technology must be taken to the next level.
The partnership between Christel House South Africa (CHSA) in Grassy Park and Dell Technologies aims to bring technology to more than 1 000 impoverished youth in Cape Town.
“Dell Technologies is spearheading the school’s information communications technology (ICT) development programme. It will help CHSA achieve a 1:1 student-to-device ratio and ensure a boost in the investment of new robotics equipment, coding programmes, an online learner management system, improved network coverage access points and staff training in e-learning,” says Megan Sonnenberg, marketing manager of CHSA.
Two Grade 12 learners at CHSA believe the youth should be tech-savvy.
Storm from Athlone was part of the first group of CHSA learners to compete and win provincial gold at the World Robotics Olympiad in 2017. “Being technologically savvy nowadays allows us to think outside the box and to move into the digital age where artificial intelligence and augmented reality are becoming relevant,” he says.
He has applied to study engineering application at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) and IT at False Bay College.
Siyamthanda from Langa believes in helping others understand technology better. He is a mentor to the school’s robotics team. “Given that the fourth industrial revolution is upon us, I believe that understanding technology should be second nature to everyone,” he says.
He has been provisionally accepted to study computer science at the University of the Western Cape.
CHSA was established in 2001 and offers no-fee scholarships to learners from some of Cape Town’s most impoverished communities. For most of its learners, school is the only place they have access to computers, the internet and other ICT resources.
Ahmed Houcine Faïk – EMEA giving manager at Dell Technologies, says: “Our partnership with Christel House reflects our ambition to harness the power of technology in creating a future that is capable of fully realising human potential and enabling more youth to be part of the digital workforce of the future.”
As an emerging STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics) school, Christel House already focuses on equipping students with related skills that will ensure they enter high-earning potential careers suited to the future economy of South Africa.
“Coupled with the new ICT development programme at the school, students are sure to attain skills compatible with modern-day careers.
“With an unemployment rate of 29% – the highest it has been in over a decade – access to technology will be one of the most important factors in decreasing our high unemployment rate and ensuring that learners are ready for the 2030 work environment,” Sonnenberg says.
* The surnames of the learners are withheld in line with Dell’s children policy.