Learning

Geek Girl of The Week, Hlengiwe Ngcamu

Say Hey to IT varsity’s Geek Girl of The Week, Hlengiwe Ngcamu from the App Development class.

App Development student, Hlengiwe Ngcamu is IT varsity's Geek Girl of The Week!

App Development student, Hlengiwe Ngcamu is IT varsity’s Geek Girl of The Week!

Tell us about yourself..

I am Hlengiwe Ngcamu and I’m 25 years old. I was born and raised in the city of Pietermaritzburg but I am currently staying in Durban.

What are you studying at IT varsity?

App Development

Why did you choose to study this particular course?

I chose to study App Development simply because I wanted to upgrade my programming skills, explore website building and I have a great interest in mobile apps. Also, I have chosen this course as a new learning channel for myself and a I always wanted a career path in IT.

Now that you’re almost through the year with your studies, how do you feel about it?

Extremely happy and excited and rather impressed as well by the number of programming languages that I have learnt here at IT varsity.

So, what have you learnt so far in App Development?

Mobile apps, Java, CSS, PHP, HTML5, to name a few. I have also learnt to challenge myself when it comes to developing and to also broaden my creativity. 

Do you plan on furthering your studies in the near future?

Yes, most definitely! I would like to do my BTECH in IT soon.

Tell us more about your IT varsity experience…

IT varsity feels just like a home to me. It is so great that each student gets one-on-one attention in the class and I feel that this creates a healthy mind and healthy learning environment as well. Our lecturers are amazing too; they are always helpful to us and are easily approachable .

Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?

Probably in a managerial position in an IT company, with my MBA or Masters in IT. I have good business sense as well so I could also be in the field of business.

Wonderful stuff, Hlengiwe! Keep up the great spirit always. IT varsity is proud to have you as our GeekGirl of The Week.

Geek Girl of The Week, Nosihle Kuboni

Say Hi to IT varsity’s latest GeekGirl of the Week, Nosihle Kuboni from the Office Admin class!

Nosihle Kuboni, from the Office Admin class.

Nosihle Kuboni, from the Office Admin class.

Who are you?

I am Nosihle Kuboni and I am 21 years old. I was born and brought up in Umlazi, S-Section, Durban.

What are you studying at IT varsity?

Office Administration

Why did you choose to study this particular course?

I love everything about the office environment and would love to have a career in the corporate world.

Now that you’re almost through the year with your studies, how do you feel about it?

I feel very happy because I am closer to reaching my goal of graduating.

So, what have you learnt so far in Office Admin?

Microsoft Excel. I also now know to to use Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and a bit of Microsoft Access.

Do you plan on furthering your studies in the near future?

Yes, I would actually like to become a paramedic and maybe study something in the IT field as well.

Tell us more about your IT varsity experience…

For me, the best part about studying at IT varsity is that the lecturers are so friendly and helpful all the time. We always receive individual attention and extra assistance and the lecturers make sure we understand everything when we are studying.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?

Most probably working in an office environment such as banking or administration.

Keep it up, Nosihle! IT varsity is proud to have you as our GeekGirl of The Week! 🙂

Geek Girl of the Week, Hlengiwe Fortunate Simelane

Say hello to IT varsity’s new Geek Girl of The Week, Hlengiwe Fortunate Simelane from the Office Administration course.

Hlengiwe Fortunate Simelane from the Office Admin course.

Hlengiwe Fortunate Simelane from the Office Admin course.

Who are you?

I am Hlengiwe Fortunate Simelane and I am 23 years old. I was born in Nongoma, but currently reside in Northdene, Queensburgh.

What are you studying at IT varsity?

Office Administration

Why did you choose to study this particular course?

I wanted to excel at learning how to use computers and understanding how to use all Microsoft applications.

Now that you’re almost through the year with your studies, how do you feel about it?

So happy, because I am closer to reaching my goal and graduating.

So, what are you currently learning in Office Admin?

Microsoft Excel. I also now know to to use Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and a bit of Microsoft Access.

Do you plan on furthering your studies in the near future?

Yes, definitely. I plan on pursuing a degree in Education.

Tell us more about your IT varsity experience…

It is very nice; it is the most comfortable campus ever. Everything about IT varsity is so interesting. The best part about IT varsity is that I get to do more practicals and I feel like I am being trained properly for the workplace.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?

I see myself being a qualified teacher as well as owning my own internet cafe.

Well done to you, Hlengiwe! IT varsity is proud to have you as our Geek Girl of The Week 🙂

 

Geek Girl of the Week, Jenna Kendel Deeplal

Lets meet IT varsity’s latest Geek Girl of the Week, Jenna Kendel Deeplal from the App Development.

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Who are you?

I am Jenna Kendel Deeplal and I am 18 years old. I was born and brought up in the city of Durban, South Africa.

What are you studying at IT varsity?

App Development

Why did you choose to study this particular course?

I wanted to learn something new and I wanted to go into a field where girls don’t usually venture into.

Now that you’re halfway through the year with your studies, how do you feel about it?

I fell in love with IT. At IT varsity there is no stress when it comes to programming and although we are reaching a crucial point in the year, I feel hopeful that everything will go well.

So, what are you currently learning in App Development?

J Query mobile and Java. I am also learning how to create a database.

Do you plan on furthering your studies in the near future?

Yes, I’d like to pursue a degree in Business Informatics  and become an exceptional programmer.

Tell us more about your IT varsity experience…

It has been amazing so far; IT varsity has become like a family to me and a home away from home. Being at IT varsity also taught me to grow and become more of an adult. I have experienced a lot of happy moments that I will always treasure.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?

I see myself having graduated with a degree and owning my very own company as well as travelling around the world.

Amazing stuff, Jenna! Keep it up always. IT varsity is proud to have YOU as our Geek Girl of the Week 🙂

Geek Girl of the Week, Noluthando Pearl Majola

Meet Pearl Majola, IT varsity’s Geek Girl of the Week from the IT Technical Support class.

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Pearl Majola, Geek Girl of the Week from the IT Technical Support class.

Who are you?

I am Noluthando Pearl Majola and I am 18 years old. I was born in Kwasanti (St Wendowlins), Marianhill.

What are you studying at IT varsity?

IT Technical Support

Why did you choose to study this particular course?

I love working with my hands and doing practical things such as fixing computers. Also, I feel that there should be more female IT Technicians in the world and I would like to prove to the world that not only guys can be technicians but girls can too!

Now that you’re halfway through the year with your studies, how do you feel about it?

I am feeling good about it but a bit nervous because I know that I have to work hard in order to achieve greatness and success. I’m also starting to feel the pressure because of exams and assignments but all in all, I am just loving the vibe of studying.

So, what are you currently learning in IT Technical Support?

We are currently busy with assessments and tests but I have recently been learning how to clean and fix computer components such as the Systems Unit (Tower) as well as the setting up and configuration of the router.

Do you plan on furthering your studies in the near future?

Yes, I do plan on furthering my studies next year by studying parttime toward a degree in Information Technology and hopefully to also be doing my internship with an IT company in Durban.

Tell us more about your IT varsity experience…

IT varsity is like a family to me. I always feel at home when I am here. Unlike other campuses, we do things is a different way, where we share our own experiences and we even celebrate every student’s birthday with a party to them feel special. I also get a lot of motivation from the staff of IT varsity and as students, we have each other as a support structure as well.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now? 

Probably working as an IT Technician in a huge IT company and I see myself developing new technology with my own hands. I would also like to have my degree in Information Technology and would be pursuing to do my Honours and Masters in Information Technology.

Well done, Pearl! IT varsity is proud to have you as our Geek Girl of the Week 🙂

 

Heritage Day 2014 Celebration at IT varsity

IT varsity celebrated Heritage Day 2014 on Thursday, 25 September 2014. And what an awesome celebration it was! We had our very own students presenting on their various cultures and beliefs.

IT varsity CEO, Bilal Kathrada chatted to the audience on various cultures, beliefs and diversity. “We should all strive to be united always”, says Bilal Kathrada.

IT varsity CEO Bilal Kathrada chats to the audience before the students presentation.

IT varsity CEO Bilal Kathrada chats to the audience before the students presentation.

The first student to present was Jenna Deeplal, from the App Development class, who did her presentation on the Indian culture. She talked about the Indian dress code, Indian food and the Indian culture as a whole. She also played a Bollywood song video to show how colourful and exuberant Indian functions are. Click here to watch the video that Jenna showed us.

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Jenna Deeplal, from App Dev, presented on the Indian Culture.

Another App Dev student, Rahil Hussein, presented a very informative video to the audience about the 5 Pillars of Islam.

Another App Dev student, Rahil Huseein who presented on the 5 Pillars of Islam.

Another App Dev student, Rahil Huseein who presented on the 5 Pillars of Islam.

We then had Philani Sithole from the IT Technical Support class who presented on the Zulu Culture. He explained various customs as well as demonstrated a traditional Zulu dance.

Philani Sithole from the IT Technical Support class who presented on the Zulu Culture.

Philani Sithole from the IT Technical Support class who presented on the Zulu Culture.

Abdul Malik Tejan-Sie, an App Dev student all the way from Sierra Leone, did an interesting presentation on his home country and enlightened the audience about the way of life in his country. Abdul also highlighted the seriousness of Ebola in his country and how it has affected and is still affecting many people currently. Click here to read more about Sierra Leone.

Abdul Malik Tejan-Sie, presented on his home country Sierra Leone.

Abdul Malik Tejan-Sie, presented on his home country Sierra Leone.

Next up, we had the very talented ladies from our Office Admin class that sang and danced in the traditional Zulu way. It was quite impressive as the audience also joined in the singing.

From left, Lindiwe, Nompumelelo, Nosihle, Zuzile and Hlengiwe from Office Admin show off the impressive Zulu song and dance performance.

From left, Lindiwe, Nompumelelo, Nosihle, Zuzile and Hlengiwe from Office Admin show off the impressive Zulu song and dance performance.

App Dev student, Adriel Naidoo, presented his views on Spiritualism. He also shared quite a few videos to give the audience a more informative take on Spiritualism.

Adriel Naidoo from App Dev, spoke to us about his views on Spiritualism

Adriel Naidoo from App Dev, spoke to us about his views on Spiritualism

Our Xhosa students from the App Dev class as well, Asanda Kosani, Luvo Memeza and Fanela Msi, did a great presentation on the Xhosa culture and explained the differences in rituals for males and females.

Asanda Kosani, Fanela Msi and Luvo Caius Memeza from App Dev, who did their presentation on the Xhosa culture.

Asanda Kosani, Fanela Msi and Luvo Caius Memeza from App Dev, who did their presentation on the Xhosa culture.

Finally, we had a play performed by the App Dev students, Ayanda Dlamini, Thobani Bhengu and Hlengiwe Ngcamu. The play was all about how courtship takes place in the Zulu culture and the proper way that a Zulu male and female need to interact with each other before marriage. Very interesting!

A scene from the Zulu play on courtship by Hlengiwe Ngcamu, Ayanda Dlamini and Thobani Bhengu.

A scene from the Zulu play on courtship by Hlengiwe Ngcamu, Ayanda Dlamini and Thobani Bhengu.

That was it for our Heritage Day 2014 Celebration at IT varsity. It was wonderful for us to learn more about each others cultures and belief. We hope that everyone in South Africa enjoyed their Heritage day Celebration as much as we have!

From the IT varsity Team, Happy Heritage Day and Happy 20 Years of Democracy, South Africa!

Jim

Geek Girl of the Week: Ayanda Dlamini, App Development

Let us meet another one of IT varsity’s Geek Girls of the Week, Ayanda Dlamini and see what she has to say about her IT varsity experience.

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Who are you?

My name is Ayanda Dlamini and I am 20 years old. I was born in Mankayane, Swaziland.

What are you studying at IT varsity?

App Development

Why did you choose to study this particular course?

I knew that I had the potential to do it and I wanted to show the world that females can also excel in IT.

Now that you’re halfway through the year with your studies, how do you feel about it?

At first, I was totally blank when it came to coding but I quickly got the hang of it and now everything is good and I am very excited with my progress.

So, what are you currently learning in App Development?

At the moment, I have learnt how to build my own website, as well as giving functionality to our smartphones, and also the styling of 3 files into one file (CSS and JavaScript)

Do you plan on furthering your studies in the near future?

Yes, definitely! I want to further my studies by doing a degree in Information Technology.

Tell us more about your IT varsity experience…

My experience at IT varsity has been great from the start. I always get motivated daily by my lecturers and I really love being here. IT varsity feels just like a second home to me.

Where do you see yourself in say, 5 years from now?

I see myself owning my very own IT company or even being a lecturer in App Development 🙂

Amazing stuff, Ayanda! Keep it up always! IT varsity is proud to have you as our Geek Girl of the Week! 😀

KidsLearningCodeZA Project Summary

This article is a follow up on the KidsLearningCode article. Where the first article explained what we are doing, this one aims to show how we are going about it.

KidsLearningCodeZA

1. Syllabus, courseware, outcomes:

IT varsity has developed coding courseware tailored to the cognitive levels of younger students.

Our target group for this offering is school kids between the ages of 7 and 17 years.

Learners will be taught to:

  • Use their new computers (bearing in mind that most learners in rural areas have never used a computer before)
  • Create basic algorithms with Scratch
  • Understand the basic functioning of the Internet and browsers
  • Code JavaScript on their computers

The proposed programme outline is listed below.  This is a 3-month course, with classes taking place once a week, which gives a total of 12 sessions. The course has been designed by IT varsity with the sole aim of empowering the kids of today, for a better future tomorrow.

Module 1: Basic Computer Skills (2 sessions)
Module 3: Game Development with Scratch (3 sessions)
Module 4: Basic coding with HTML and CSS (3 sessions)
Module 5: Introduction to coding with JavaScript (4 sessions)

Since each learner will be given a computer, they will be given assignment tasks to complete during the week which they can complete on their on computers. This will encourage self-study and exploration.

A long-term sustainable solution

Our aim is to provide a concerted, sustained effort with the following specific outcomes in mind:

  • Inspire continued learning and practice after the classes are over
  • Instil a passion for technology
  • Encourage a competitive and entrepreneural spirit
  • Nurture the willingness to perform at optimal levels

To encourage active participation and excellence, we will follow up the training with a competition where learners who excel will stand the chance to win various prizes such as bursaries.

2. Computers and Internet

Each learner will be given a low-cost yet powerful, Linux-based Raspberry Pi computer, complete with screen, keyboard and mouse. Providing learners with their own computers will ensure that they can keep coding whenever they want.

Internet access will be provided via mobile data where required.

3. Classes:

Classes will be held once a week, on Saturdays.

4. Venues:

Currently we run coding classes at the IT varsity campus in the CBD, and at the Umkhumbane School in the Chesterville township. However, there has been a demand in many other areas, so we’ve approached other schools such as the Meadowlands Secondary School in Chatsworth, as well as schools in Phoenix, Inanda and Wyebank to allow us to host classes at their computer labs, to which many have graciously agreed.

Learners will be provided a light meal at every class.

5. Trainers:

The training will be done by our trained and qualified lecturers and IT varsity student volunteers, many of whom are eager to impart their knowledge to others.

6. Logistics

Many learners are from remote areas, so there may arise a need to provide them with taxi fare to get them to the training facility. We will cover the taxi fare from within the greater Durban area.

7. Accreditation

IT varsity is an accredited training provider. We are accredited by the MICT SETA, and most of our courses are accredited programmes.

Even though the Kids Learning Code course is purely a skills programme, it is aligned to assessment standards of the SAQA qualification “Systems Development” (SAQA ID: 48872)

Project Impact

Classes at UmkhumbaneBy providing coding skills and computers to kids, we will be opening up to them a new world, the world of computers and App development. They will be free to learn and explore, imagine and create, and in the process find their passion.

We believe that this project will go a long way towards addressing the IT skills shortage in South Africa because it will encourage more young people to get into IT careers.

It also has the potential to impact the economy of the country, because some of these kids may become innovators and tech entrepreneurs of the future.

Girls

“You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation.”

At IT varsity we understand the need to get more girls into IT careers. This project will address that need by ensuring that at least half of the learners will be girls.

Challenges

IT varsity is a small startup company with big, audacious ideas. As much as we would like to continue providing free training to kids just for the love of it, the reality is that there is only so much we can do on our own, and that the way forward is to partner with like-minded individuals and organizations. That way we can do much more.

The current cost per child for the full 3-month program, including tuitions, meals, Raspberry Pi computers with screens, keyboards and mice, courseware and t-shirts, is R4500.

We are looking at getting enough sponsorship to run an initial class of 20 learners at our city campus.

For the initial class we intend to take in three learners per school from various schools in the Durban area. The three learners will be nominated by their schools to participate in the programme.

Our major challenge at this stage is finance. As a startup we have severe financial constraints, but with active participation of the government and private enterprise we will be able to easily reach out target of empower 20 disadvantaged students.

Based on the success of this project, we would like to run more projects of this type in other areas.

KidsLearningCodeZA

kids learning code zaMany technology experts believe that the next big frontier for technology is not Silicon Valley USA, but Africa. Many also believe that Africa is on the brink of a major technology revolution, and that South Africa is ideally suited to become the forerunner in the revolution.

But South Africa’s major challenge is that it lacks skilled ICT professionals. This is a major hindrance that is keeping back the local economy in an increasingly information-centric global economy. We need a constant supply of young professionals with the right IT skills; skills that are relevant, up-to-date and in tune with global technological trends.

At IT varsity we believe that South Africa has sufficient potential talent, but we are failing to harness it from a young age.

The big question is, how do we harness local talent talent? How do we get more kids, especially girls (sadly, females make up about 12% to 15% of SA’s IT workforce!) into technology? Not only that, but how do we train them to be among the best in the world?

We believe that we have the answers to these questions.

The Solution

Kids from middle to high-income homes have far more tech opportunities at their disposal than those from low-income homes due to the fact that they have access to computers and other devices at home as well as Internet access.

And yet there are so many extremely bright children in rural areas and townships who deserve an opportunity and, given one, will show the world what they can do. In empowering these children, we are empowering the entire economy; because it is these kids who will go on to fill the much-needed skills gap in the IT sector in this country. Further, it is possible that some of these kids will be great innovators of the future, developing solutions for people all over the world.

We believe that the only way to overcome this unfair situation is to:

  1. Provide coding classes to kids in rural areas and townships
  2. Provide them with computers of their own so that they can continue their learning

 

The Benefits

“Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.” Margaret Mead

In most parts of the world a lot of emphasis is placed on teaching kids to code, because coding present numerous benefits, as listed below:

Benefits of coding classes:

  • Identify and harness talent from a young age
  • Encourage learners to get into IT careers
  • Coding teaches people how to think
  • Coding enhances problem-solving abilities
  • Encourage learners to start innovating from as young as possible
  • Encourage an entrepreneurial spirit
  • Improve the overall levels IT skills among students currently in schools.

We believe that this training must be made accessible to all children.

At this stage we are unaware of any institute on South Africa that is actively teaching coding skills to kids of all backgrounds, so we at IT varsity have decided to address the problem by piloting classes at a couple of schools. This has proven quite successful, and now we would like to extend the scope to include as many other schools as possible.

IT varsity is the ideal institute to offer such classes because it is our core business to teach advanced coding skills.

If you are interested in this project, and wish to learn more, please view the Project Summary here.

Geek Girl of the Week – Asanda Kosani, App Development

Meet IT varsity’s Geek Girl of the Week, Asanda Kosani and see what she has to say about her IT varsity experience.

Who are you?  Asanda KosaniAsanda_Kosani_gg_pic

Born in Kings Williams Town, East London, Eastern Cape

What are you studying at IT varsity?  App Development

Why did you choose to study this particular course?  I chose App Development because I wanted to find out what it was about.  Because initially I didn’t know what I wanted to study out of high school.  So I heard of IT varsity and I was quite keen.

Now that you are half way through the year with your studies, how do you feel about it?  I feel it quite challenging but it’s very intriguing and I really enjoy programming now.

Being a girl studying IT, what do you suggest to other girls about becoming interested in studying IT?  That they should really consider studying IT or in particular, programming, because though it is a male dominating environment, girls in matric should consider studying IT as it is a strong field and the highest paying field at the moment.  As well as the fact that, any qualification you look at has some basic knowledge of IT as a prerequisite requirement.

So what are you learning currently?

I am currently learning to build websites and database-driven web apps using PHP and MySQL. Next we’re going to learn to create mobile apps for Android and iPhone using JavaScript. It’s really exciting!

Do you plan to further your studies in the near future? Almost definitely.

What is it that you are considering to study further?  I’m considering to study towards a degree or a diploma in IT.

Where do you see yourself in, say, five years?  In five years, I see myself with a degree and working for a company that will put my skills to good use and to keep me on my toes.

Keep up the great work, Asanda! IT varsity is proud to have you as our Geek Girl of the Week!