Young boffins named IITPSA Olympiad champs

Sibahle Malinga
By Sibahle Malinga, ITWeb senior news journalist.
Johannesburg, 31 Jul 2023
This year’s top performers in the Computer Applications Olympiad.
This year’s top performers in the Computer Applications Olympiad.

The national winners of the 2023 Applications Olympiad have been named, featuring a cohort of new and rising computing stars.

This year’s overall top performer was Ruan Schoeman, a repeat medallist and Grade 11 learner from Home-school Midrand, who was awarded the 2023 gold medal.

The Computer Applications Olympiad is part of the South African Computer Olympiads, a project of the Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa (IITPSA).

The Computer Olympiad bills itself as one of the oldest and biggest events of its kind in the world, first launched in 1984 and engaging over 50 000 participants annually. It aims to identify, encourage and reward computer aptitude, promote computer studies and create an awareness of career opportunities in local ICT industries.

The Computer Applications Olympiad is a challenge for those who take computer applications technology, or the International Computer Driving Licence, or are otherwise computer literate.

Participants must solve a number of problems using a Microsoft Office package and the data provided. They may use the application of their choice, such as the word processor, spreadsheet, database and presentation tool.

The top 7% of all participants achieve gold awards; silver is awarded to the next 14% of all participants and bronze to the next 29% of all participants.

Silver medals were awarded to Grade 12s Jeremy Jaeger of Domino Servite School in KwaZulu-Natal and Ayesha Salijee of Crawford International College Sandton in Gauteng.

Bronze medals were awarded to Grade 12s Lara Lategan of Hoërskool Randburg in Gauteng, Donzell Pick of York High in the Western Cape, and Sambulo Zikhali of Empangeni High in KwaZulu-Natal.

Congratulating the winners, IITPSA president Admire Gwanzura noted ICT skills and aptitude are in growing demand in SA, saying that young South Africans learning these skills could work towards rewarding careers in the ICT sector.

“The IITPSA sees ICT skills development as an enabler for youth employment and economic development. We are delighted to see more learners taking the first steps by participating in our Olympiads and encourage all schools to register their pupils for our Olympiad activities. Together, we can contribute towards enabling the next generation of ICT leaders in South Africa,” he said.

The competition’s activities include the Programming Olympiad, a challenge for learners who can use a programming language, and the Talent Search, which identifies an aptitude for mathematics, science and computing.

Click here to learn more about the Computer Olympiad and how schools can participate.