June 2021, Cape Town.
Non-profit school, Christel House SA, has officially launched coding as a compulsory subject from Grades 1 to 7. Based in Ottery, Cape Town, the school offers no-fee scholarships to students from the poorest neighbourhoods on the Cape Flats. In line with global technology trends, the school acknowledges that coding will become a basic literacy requirement in the digital age and that understanding the fundamentals of technology will be essential to securing a job in the future. The program is proudly supported by Dell Technologies, a long-standing information communications technology (ICT) partner of the school.
Christel House employed a dedicated coding teacher and currently each grade has one hour of coding per week. Program lessons focus on core introductory themes ranging from the basic functionality of devices, the structure of an operating system and how to code logic statements, concepts, and variables. Thanks to Dell Technologies, the school has a one-to-one student to device ratio, allowing each student to code on their own tablet during lessons.
“Teaching a child at an early age how to code facilitates critical thinking, helps with problem solving, instil a love for mathematics and helps to become more ‘future proof’ in a changing global environment. Having made coding compulsory for our Junior School learners, we are introducing them to the world of computer science, which will enable them to be fully prepared for the 2030 workplace, “says Carol Kriel, Junior School Principal, at Christel House SA.
Coding is offered as optional subject in Christel House’s High School with many students eager to pursue a career in coding and software engineering. The school also proudly offers Robotics as an extra-curricular subject in both their Junior and High School and have participated in the National World Robotics Olympiad since 2017. Through Christel House’s in-house College & Careers Department, students receive individual career guidance and support throughout their school career and for an additional five year’s post school. In doing so, the non-profit ensures that students complete their studies and find gainful employment in a career of their dreams.
“We believe that, now more than ever, it is paramount that impoverished youth are equipped with the critical skills needed to bridge the digital divide and step into a 21st century society where they can have equal opportunity to succeed”, added Kriel.
“At Dell Technologies, we see technology as a necessity that can help younger generations realize their potential, find rewarding work, reinvest in their own communities, and drive human progress. To connect technology and learning resources with those who need them most, Dell Technologies is working with strategic non-profit partners such as Christel House, to develop a range of initiatives that are designed to meet the needs of the future workforce. The school is playing a vital role in giving youth access to technology education and learning resources that allows them to participate in the digital economy – now and in the future. We remain committed to our collaboration with Christel House as we work together to create opportunities for the youth of South Africa,”, said Doug Woolley, Managing Director, Dell Technologies South Africa.