It’s sometimes easy, in the rush of new products and technology updates, to forget that not everyone in South Africa has access to the technology literacy and skills required to make a living using the technology that Stuff readers love so much. It is good to know that there are programs out there in this country that are assisting disadvantaged young people, who may have never held a tablet in their lives, to develop the skills necessary to enter the job market and perhaps have a hand in designing the Next Big Thing. Or another Candy Crush, but we wouldn’t hold that against them.
One such program is Creative Code, an initiative spearheaded by the University of Cape Town’s Marion Walton, who is the university’s senior lecturer at the Centre for Film and Media Studies. Young students are taught to “…use design to create simple games that they can play and share and at the same time are learning coding, visual design and the basic concepts of computer programming.”
Getting a start on programming basics is just the first step to building the next big app. Students are taught on Friday afternoons at the Nazeema Isaacs Library in Mkhaza, while longer lessons also take place during the July school holidays. According to Creative Code, the project has “…already made a positive impact on the youth of this area over the last two years with access to popular online learning materials and practical experiences in creating simple computer games and pixel art designs.”
How could you contribute to building South Africa’s next generation of technology entrepreneurs? Hit up the website at the link below and offer some feedback, sponsorship or just support for the younger programming crowd. At the moment they have a shortage of computers for students, which has led to Creative Code finding ways to practise coding using mobile devices. If they’re doing the work with phones, imagine what could be achieved with a few extra PCs.
More: Creative Code