SA education system has its head in the sand, claims parent

A South African parent has expressed his concern that the lack of IT education in the country could prevent his coding expert son from pursuing his dream.

Sam Berger, 11, recently attended his second Python conference as a tutorial assistant by invitation from Ewa Jodlowska, coordinator at Pycon 2013.

The pre-teen Python enthusiast met Jodlowska through South African-based IT teaching community Umonya where he first learnt how to code.

HumanIPO reported last month on Lyndsay Lawrence, founder of Umonya, who started the organisation because of the lack of IT training in South Africa.

Speaking to HumanIPO, Larry Berger, father of Sam, said: “If only the Education Department understood the importance of introducing languages such as Python to grade 7 and above now.

“It would then cater for the looming problem which currently only IT businesses know.”

Calling himself a “concerned dad”, Larry explained the challenge of finding time to pursue further training.

As homework takes up a lot of time for the grade 7 pupil and Python is not included in the syllabus, making extra time to “pursue his passion” is a challenge for the Bergers.

Eager to extend his skills to other code types, Sam’s mentors currently include Microsoft South Africa and Information Logistics, which assists him in his newest skill training in C Sharp.

“The industry is desperate and the education system worldwide has decided to put their heads in the sand and do the ostrich thing,” Larry complained.

 Motivating his stance, he referred to recent statistics, forecasting an IT job availability of one million by 2020 despite only 100,000 qualified computer science graduates.

Larry intends to approach Sam’s school principal soon to discuss the matter.

Posted in: Policy

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