A government official disclosed the plans during a recent conference in Johannesburg.
“Today, young people need access to a whole new set of skills – those that will enable them to work and thrive in the digital age,” said Khethiwe Nkuna, Head of Corporate Citizenship and Inclusion and Diversity Lead for Accenture in Africa.
Nkuna saidvplans by government were in sync with Accenture’s long running support of digital education initiatives.
Accenture’s participation in Hour of Code, a global educational movement exposing millions of students to a one-hour introduction to computer science and computer programming, has allowed Accenture employees worldwide to help make a difference.
Locally, the Coder Dojo youth initiative enables Accenture South Africa employees transfer further critical digital skills to disadvantaged local youth.
Forming part of Accenture SA’s Skills to Succeed initiative, the organisation’s involvement in the Coder Dojo project saw learners aged 7 to 17 from the townships of Alexandra and Diepsloot involved in a year-long coding programme in 2017.
“In today’s fast-moving world, digital skills are growing more and more critical, and technology is constantly reshaping the world of work,” Nkuna said.
At the recent Think Johannesburg Conference, Deputy Minister of Communications, Pinky Kekana, revealed that the South African government was considering introducing coding at school level.
Kekana said there was a need to assess how South Africa ‘future proofed’ children in a society that was constantly changing.
“The time to introduce basic coding into our education system has come,” she said.
The government official highlighted South Africa was, moreover, “moving into an economy that’s heavy on technology and light on labour.”
“Therefore, it is crucial that we consider smart interventions,” Kekana said.
Nkuna said South Africa was standing at an education and unemployment crossroads.
While the digital demands of the Fourth Industrial Revolution will usher in a new set of challenges, with them will come a new set of opportunities, she added.
Accenture is committed to inspiring youth to involve themselves in the world of technology and expanding the opportunities for students to learn critical coding and computer science skills first-hand, Nkuna pledged.
“Given the recent announcements by the deputy minister, it seems that the South African government is also beginning to envision a tech-first future for SA’s youth,” she said.
– CAJ News