TechInAfrica – [27 August 2018, Cape Town] Education has always been the key to a nation’s prosperity and individual success, every now and then. While South of Africa is facing their national education crisis, the world keeps on moving forward, led by the advanced technology. Since current technology has changed our lives and how we work, the young generation has to face the fact that newly available jobs now are mostly affected by automation. Judging by what we are facing now, our future seems to be technical, thus, it is needed to be professionally future-proof.
The term ‘future-proof’ means to prepare yourself way earlier by taking proper steps to face the future which is predicted to be more advanced, in term of technology. Many schools in the world have been putting computer programming as one of their prior subjects, besides Math and English. In conclusion: to prepare the young generation to face more advanced technology in the future, they need to learn coding as it is a basic skill of computer programming. That’s what it means to be future-proof.
SkillUp a Startup company which is based in Cape Town. The company is providing skillful thousands of tutors for African parents and students. The offer is based on four aspects: grades, subject, budget, and location. The SkillUp platform facilitates students to find tutors based on their needs. It also helps to make the purchasing and scheduling online lessons.
In a partnership with Rustenburg Girls’ Junior School, SkillUp launched its coding project in Cape Town. The startup has been assisting 300 girls from grade 3 to 6 to learn coding. The girls have to build a website as their weekly task. The website consists of different categories, such as Math, Geography, Finance, The Solar System, South Africa. They recently have made their own Wikipedia page to honor women on Women’s Month in South Africa. The page is about Famous Women in History,
The CEO and Co-Founder of SkillUp, Matthew Henshall, made his statement about the program. He said that the program is meant to prepare African kids with computer programming skills so that they will survive in the digital age. Moreover, he also added that the girls they have been teaching learn well and are skillful. The girls—who are mostly around 8 to 12-year-old—are ready to compete globally.
At the beginning of this year, the startup accepted a fund called Series A from Knife Capital, a leading venture capital firm. The funding is to accelerate tutors and learners, a partnership with content providers, as well as to expand the business globally.
The Managing partner of Knife Capital, Andrea Bӧhmert talked about its partnership with SkillUp. He said SkillUp uses unpopular way to run the business. While other startups tend to remove humans from education coalface, SkillUp is the other way around. It uses technology for scaling knowledgeable humans into the education world. The kids coding program ran by SkillUp is not only affordable, relevant and homegrown but also has a potential to future-proof the young generations into digital technology. It is expected to give a wide range of career opportunities for them in the future.
Even though the pilot coding project is now being implemented at Rustenburg Girls’ Junior School, there will be many more schools and kids soon to participate in coding revolution. For its future plan, SkillUp will expand its program to more schools in Southern Africa and many other countries in the world in 2019. Currently, some of schools and partners have signed up for the program.