As part of its commitment to furthering Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education in South Africa, Honeywell has partnered with the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) on the Melisizwe Computer Lab Project, an educational course focused on software programming and other ICT skills that will launch today at St Barnabas College, Johannesburg.

The new course, sponsored by Honeywell and targeted at Grade 8 learners, will also be run in conjunction with the UJ Metropolitan High School and will see 197 learners across the two schools obtain computer literacy as a foundation of their high school education.

The course is part of a wider initiative by the GDE to drive participation among learners in STEM and ICT subjects, to give them the skills they need to target the wide range of technology careers being created by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

“Industry 4.0 is shaping the future of how the world works, and Honeywell’s innovations sit right at the forefront of this revolution,” says Sean Smith, president: Africa at Honeywell. “We’re connecting technologies that span entire operations, enabling everything from the most advanced skyscrapers to the most complex petrochemical plants to become more productive, safe and efficient.

“By investing in courses such as the Melisizwe Computer Lab Project, we’re ensuring that young people in South Africa have the best possible start to their future technology careers so that they too can go on to help shape the way the world works through innovation.”

The Melisizwe Computer Lab Project is a non-profit organization that gives students from underprivileged schools opportunities to study Computer Application Technology (CAT) and other IT related topics. It will provide students at St Barnabas and UJ Metropolitan High School, which have been newly recognized by the GDE as educational institutions specializing in Mathematics, Science and ICT, with a series of courses in basic IT literacy, computer programming and robotics through 2019.