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Google’s CS First in action

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Communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams meeting CS First participants.
Communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams meeting CS First participants.

Google’s CS First programme hosted a live training session and press briefing in Cape Town yesterday.

Working in partnership with the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies, the event aimed to highlight how the Web can produce digitally-enabled citizens, which, in turn, helps people to develop their economic capabilities.

Google officially launched the educator-created programme in mid-August as a collaborative environment where learners could be taught computer science fundamentals.

CS First is also looking to provide a space where young people can learn key coding skills. The programme aims to train more than 30 000 learners across nine provinces in the space of a year.

The initiative targets learners in grades four to eight and has already educated more than two million learners across the globe.

To ensure CS First addresses the needs of the most disconnected and underserved members of our communities, 70% of Google’s CS First training will be in public schools and 10% in special needs schools. Google also aims to ensure 60% of those trained are female.

The official launch of CS First a few weeks ago came off the back of a successful pilot project, which included 2 400 learners from public schools and community centres, in Gauteng, Eastern Cape and Western Cape.

As part of the pilot project, these learners were shown how expanding their digital skills could help them to become the next big African tech innovators.

CS First forms part of Google’s Grow with Google initiative, which has equipped thousands of South Africans with digital skills over the past two years.

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