We believe every child in every school, irrespective of economic background, should have the opportunity to learn computer science. Coding allows children to become creative thinkers, innovators and designers. As they learn to code, young people begin to think about the world and themselves in new ways.

Just a fraction of South African children will learn to code. It is disheartening that a decreasing number of learners are choosing gateway subjects such as maths, science, information technology and computer applications technology. Less than 1% of Grade 12 learners have chosen information technology as a subject. We want to change that.

Children who code

We’re inspired by stories from around the world of children learning to code. Thomas Suarez set himself apart from other video game loving 12-year-olds by learning to create his own. He says many children want to create apps but aren’t sure where to start. Thomas simply started playing around with a software development kit on his iPhone and created a number of apps. He is now helping other children become developers. Thomas says he is inspired by Apple founder Steve Jobs, highlighting the importance of mentors for children.

That’s where we come in. We want to give learners the courage to try computer science, teach them how to use computers confidently, help them to tackle difficult problems, and allow them to see how coding can not only change their lives but impact their family and community.

Coding as a career

Recent salary surveys, by Career Junction and ITWeb, have highlighted the importance of choosing to pursue information technology. It was found information technology was one of the 10 most popular industries in the South African jobs market and demand continued to increase year on year. Further, information technology salaries outstripped inflation with managerial staff receiving 20% pay increases.