by AKANI CHAUKE
JOHANNESBURG – SOME 250 girls are to receive coding training as part of programme to inspire women to enter the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields and industries.
The #CodeLikeAGirl programme will benefit girls aged between 14-18.
The training is ongoing until Friday in the Eastern Cape, Gauteng and Mpumalanga provinces.
A new sponsor, Microsoft South Africa, has come on board to support the programme, to the tune of US$40 000.
This will ensure the programme reaches more school going girls from underprivileged backgrounds.
“Women continue to be excluded from participating equally in STEM and ICT careers,” said Njabulo Mashigo, Human Resources Director for Vodacom South Africa.
He said reasons for this include lack of career opportunities, gender bias and role models.
Mashigo believes industry-supported initiatives like #CodeLikeAGirl therefore serve an important purpose in nurturing girls’ confidence in STEM, exposing them to women who are working in technology, and empowering them through education and coding skills.
“By partnering with Microsoft South Africa, we aim to further increase representation in the technology sector, as more girls will be able to benefit from the life-changing programme,” Mashigo said.
Coding is the process of transforming ideas, solutions, and instructions into the language a computer can understand, using programming languages like JavaSctipt, Java, C/C++, or Python, to act as the translator between humans and machines.
“Computer coders have become a key part of countless industries, offering abundant career opportunities,” said Martin Ndlovu, Skills Programme Manager, Microsoft Africa Transformation Office.
He said Code Like a Girl provides girls with the confidence, tools, knowledge and support to enter and thrive in the world of coding.
The programme was first implemented in Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Mozambique, South Africa and Tanzania in 2017.
In South Africa, Vodacom has trained over 4000 girls. It had its biggest intake in 2021, with over 1 000 pupils from eight provinces taking part.
– CAJ News