Supporting Education in South Africa
I'm back in South Africa again this week with Dr Glenn Wylie meeting with developers and working with EoH to get the last parts of the Developer Group for South Africa ready to launch. Its been a really interesting week meeting with a range of companies and individuals (including work shops in Johannesburg and Cape Town).
It was amazing meeting a host of new faces, along with some returning ones, including developers who had flown in especially for the work shops from Angola.
[caption id="attachment_316" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="FireMonkey and HTML5 Builder in Johannesburg"][/caption]
Hill High School - Educational Winners
Through relationships built via our partnership with EoH, the day after the Johannesburg event (Wednesday) Glenn and I had the great pleasure of attending Hill High School. It really was great fun to head to school in another country, and luckily I didn't have to wait outside the head masters office in this one, something Kleo Georgiou from EoH (being his olds School) told us he had often done over 20 years ago.
There are over 60 students studying Delphi from year 9 to year 12, supported by their amazing teacher (Bernard Sibanda) who is often working weekends with students to get them through their exams at his own cost! A very dedicated man.
[caption id="attachment_312" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Hill High School, Johannesburg"][/caption]
At the school we got to meet the classes and find out about a number of the projects the students had developed during their learning, including a fun educational / platform game from one of our prize winners where you had to collect the scrolls and answer maths questions as you go.
[caption id="attachment_313" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Year 9 to 12 Students"][/caption]
We were with the students for about 1 hour. In that time we spoke about the life of a software developer and what skills you need to learn, (including listening to the real requirements of the customer), something year 12 student, Ottilia, had done exceptionally well in creating an application called "Animal Environments and Enclosures Information System".
[caption id="attachment_314" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Stephen Ball talking with Bernard to the Delphi Students"][/caption]
Ottilia's (below 2nd left) work won a national award and a prize of R10,000 for the school, a fantastic achievement :-)
Near the end of our visit, we asked the students (one each from year 10, 11 and 12) who have been selected for their achievements to come forward (they knew nothing about what was going to happen next). They were not only congratulated in front of all their class mates, but presented with a great surprise, a full copy of RAD Studio Professional for their achievements. This was followed by the announcement of a new award at the school starting next year for the best student in IT.
By far the warmest congratulations was from the students for their teacher Bernard, who was also told he would receive a full copy of the software as well for the dedication and hard work he puts into helping these students achieve.
[caption id="attachment_315" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Winning Students"][/caption]
I must say, I've done a lot of visits since I joined Embarcadero, but this was by far my favorite. There has been loads I have learned about the education system here in the last year, and going along with some of the work we are currently pushing forward in the UK, this is going to be a very exciting year ahead for Education of Computer Science and Delphi.
Friday, 2 November 2012
Wow!!!!! Great achievement for The Hill High School. I hope & wish all teachers have the patience & strength like Mr Bernard to go to such extent to help students to achieve what they're supposed to achieve. Teachers like Bernard must be awarded by the Department of Education. Excellent work. Keep it up!!!!!
Saturday, 3 November 2012
Congratulations to the Hill High School. My best wishes goes to the most brilliant man I know in Programming Mr Sibanda (my best friend). An outstanding achievement to Ms Otillia for her brilliant work. Mr Sibanda is indeed an outstanding teacher who dedicates his life to his learners. We need more like him. Excellent work, well done!!!
Thursday, 15 November 2012
I would like at this moment to thank Embarcadero, who through Glenn and Stephen, has supported South African community through eye opening conferences. Not to mention the revival of the delphi user communities and support for education and developers.
After testing FireMonkey demos, i am really impressed by the 3D components and the way they are easily animated. Keep it up Embarcadero!
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Wonderful! It is great to have such commitment and to know you guys. I think that we have a bright future for IT @ high schools. Thanks for Embarcadero's involvement!