SA coding programme offers free coding training to African youth for Mandela Day

Posted by News Express | 19 July 2022 | 584 times

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•Cosmo City Coding Club members


As part of its contribution to the 2022 Mandela Day, established South African coding programme CodeJIKA is offering free coding training to learners, parents and teachers wishing to learn the basics of coding in one hour.

Optimized for both desktop and mobile, the programme offers a full curriculum of short courses that can be accessed at no charge and aims to provide critical digital skills that can empower African youth and kick-start a career in coding.

Through the Mandela Day initiative, teachers, parents and volunteers can assist a group of teens on how they can create a digital tribute for Nelson Mandela using the CodeJIKA 1-hour website curriculum, and start a coding club with their friends.

“This Mandela Day, we are aiming to introduce at least 10,000 African youth to the basics of coding in HTML, CSS and Javascript,” explains CodeJIKA Project Manager Sibusiso Khoza.

CodeJIKA’s efforts are aligned with Nelson Mandela’s belief that “Education is the most powerful weapon that can be used to change the world.” The teaching of 21st-century skills will be necessary for Africa to transform itself into a continent of growth and opportunity. and the CodeJIKA free coding curriculum was specifically created to help the  African youth to create a better life for themselves and those around them, through the use of digital skills.

Coding as a key lever to African development

As workplace and job requirements evolve, candidates highly skilled in computer science, programming and coding are increasingly in demand. Computer science skills also prepare the youth for the technological demands of the jobs of the future, regardless of field or occupation.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, 70% of jobs now require basic digital skills and about two-thirds of employers have reported experiencing skills gaps in their workforce. African technology industries are rapidly disrupting traditional job markets and creating new demands for roles in software development and machine learning engineering.

Given that only 2% of African students under the age of 18 years leave school with coding skills, the need for digital upskilling on the continent remains critical.

Former CodeJIKA students have lauded the programme, describing how it has kick-started their career.

“At first, I was intimidated by coding, but I soon started to really enjoy the experience,” describes

Paballo Mooka, Grade 9 Diepsloot Secondary 3

“CodeJIKA opened my eyes to the computer science world, which I never knew existed. My hunger for learning continued after I finished the course and graduated from high school. I enrolled to study a Bachelor of Computer Science at UNISA and I am enjoying my studies,” said 2018 CodeJIKA Alumni Calvin Semenya.

“The CodeJIKA programme is an enjoyable and easy way to introduce young people to coding. Anyone can code; they just need the right tools and the support of those around them to show them that it is possible. This is what we do at CodeJIKA,” adds Thandie Mhlangu, CodeJIKA Provincial Trainer.

Source: News Express

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