Expanding career horizons in rural Eastern Cape

During the first semester of 2020, Ms Lusanda Maqungo from Tsomo, became aware of our virtual BOATS coding tournaments. She was immediately passionate to get her learners involved – even purchased airtime for some of those who had connectivity issues. After the Mandela Day tournament she responded as follows:

“Thanks to the BOATS team

I really appreciate your belief that every child could participate irrespective of their background!!!!! Mostly we are encountering situations whereby rural areas are not considered!!!

Thank you very much indeed.

My children now are developing a passion for computer science. They didn’t even know of the career’s existence!

I am going to push forward too due to the motivation from the tournament!

My principal and my colleagues are widely smiling; seeing potential in their kids

Hopefully we will tackle this journey of helping those in need. We need to give our children what they deserve. It’s only us who can make their dreams come true.”

As a result of their enthusiasm S4 Integration sponsored a full TANKS coding kit to Ms Maqungo. Consequently, her learners attended coding workshops over a few Saturdays. They each received a certificate for completing the TANKS coding levels.

Last week we received the following encouraging report and reflection on the year from Ms Maqungo:

“Programming has been this scary giant that gives me goose-bumps. I would shut my mind off once you speak about coding/programming. Thanks to Professor Greyling and the coding project for breaking the giant pieces into eatable pieces. I am confident enough now to take the lead and facilitate the programs to the surroundings of Tsomo and beyond. Coding gives a sense of fulfilment to the learners because now they know the career that they want to take.

TANKS and BOATS has been an eye opener for us all in the rural areas of Tsomo. My students have acquired the innovative skills that are needed in the world of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. I have never witnessed such excitement amongst the learners. They have a vision now; they see themselves doing Computer Sciences.

I have interviewed some of them and this is their response: Boniswa Mokautu who is doing grade 9 at Gobinamba SSS said, “These two apps taught us a lot. We can think faster than before and we are capable of solving problems. It taught us to focus on the target for the next move. At school also I see the difference especially on focusing and solving the problem”.

Tamia Jobe who is doing grade 7 at Zakhele JSS said, “I know how to play the games, both! My brain has been exercised. I am glad that my hard work has been paid off because Professor Greyling and Ms Maqungo awarded me with a certificate. That really motivated me!!”