Vodacom Brings STEM Education To Underprivileged Girls

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If you are interested in paving a career in coding and you're a female, Vodacom has launched an initiative to assist and empower young girls. 


Vodacom has launched an initiative that contributes to building a more digital, inclusive, sustainable future on the continent while tackling low representation of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education through a structured educational programme that targets underprivileged girls.

The purpose is to introduce underprivileged girls to coding basics and careers paths that are related to current and future skills gaps while also building a talent pipeline that speaks to our current and future skills needs. 

How the programme will be delivered 

The programme will be delivered through a series of 5-Day Coding Bootcamps using a hybrid model that will cater for on-site and virtual participants.

The On-Site Coding Bootcamps are hosted at 19 Vodacom School of Excellences located in all 9 provinces of South Africa, targeting girls in schools in and around the locations.

The Virtual Coding Bootcamps are hosted Virtually, accessible to girls from anywhere in the country. 

Who should register for the programme 

  • Girls between ages of 14 – 18 who are interested in a STEM career path
  • For the on-site Bootcamp, the participant must be a learner at a school or nearby a school that has a Vodacom School of Excellence which is equipped with laptops and internet connectivity.
  • For Virtual Bootcamp, you must have access to a computer with internet connectivity

Why you should attend the programme

  • Get earmarked for our Mainstream Bursary Program, which opens doors to our Early Career Programs and a long-term career journey at Vodacom.
  • Get a head start on coding basics and learn how it affects and shapes the current and future world of work.
  • Launch a coding career path by earning an accredited qualification

When the programme will take place

The first Coding Bootcamp will take place on 02 – 06 October 2023 from 09:00 – 14:00. Both the Onsite and Virtual Camps will take place in parallel.

For queries, please contact the program management team on: [email protected]

What Is STEM? 

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics is an umbrella term used to group together the distinct but related technical disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

The term is typically used in the context of education policy or curriculum choices in schools. 

The Importance of Women In STEM 

South Africa has made great strides towards more equitable gender representation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) over the past decade, meaning that there has never been a better time for young women to consider a career in STEM-related fields. That’s especially the case with the shortage of skills in STEM in South Africa. 

A career in STEM is an opportunity to create a prosperous future, solve some of the world’s most challenging problems and embark on an intellectually fulfilling career that offers many paths to growth and development, says Monica Luwes, Manager of the Graduate Centre at Sasol Corporate Bursary Services.

Companies with career opportunities in STEM fields can help attract more women to the field by providing mentorship and training opportunities as well as promoting STEM careers to girls and women. 

One challenge that South Africa still faces is that many girls drop out of secondary education. A lower proportion of those who complete high school earn pass grades in Mathematics and Science when compared to boys.

According to the World Bank, 50.3% of girls achieved 30% or higher in Mathematics in the National Senior Certificate Examination versus 58.6% of boys. 

Another challenge lies in a lack of role models for learners from underrepresented or formerly marginalised communities, including women.

Employers in the sector should lead the way in addressing unconscious biases and stereotyping that favour men in STEM careers, says Luwes. They also need to nurture inclusivity to ensure that women have the chance to make an impact and remain in the field of study and their jobs.

Luwes says that attracting more women into STEM is vital in creating a more inclusive and equal society, especially in a world where automation is putting many traditional jobs at risk.

Furthermore, tapping into the potential of young women is key to stimulating economic growth. Nurturing diversity also helps to spark innovation by bringing different perspectives to the table when solving problems and creating opportunities.

Suggested Article:

School learner doing coding and robotics on a smart device

The Western Cape Education Department hosted the inter-provincial meeting on coding and robotics where provincial education departments discussed the progress and roll-out of these subjects at schools across the country. 


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After completing your matric certificate exams, you are faced with a multitude of post-matric options that can shape your future paths.

These options range from pursuing higher education at universities or colleges, entering vocational training programs, joining the workforce, or even considering entrepreneurial ventures, each offering unique opportunities for personal and professional growth.

You've probably been contemplating the next chapter of your life all throughout the year asking yourself, 'what am I going to study after I finish completing my matric certificate exams?', 'am I going to study? What else can I do when I pass'? Well, we can help.


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