By Emily Setona
QWAQWA – IT genius Letlaka Mphuthi wins three awards for his Compu-wizkidz program nominated in three categories, community builder of the year, the innovator of the year and the digital education award at the 2023 (State Information Technology Agency) SITA GovTech conference that was held on 12 to 14 September.
“Winning these awards really means a lot to me because this type of recognition will open more doors for sponsorships because the kids who participate in this program really deserve it, they give their best in everything they do. I have had about 200 children participate since I started this program, and children as young as 6 years old can learn coding and robotics,” Mphuthi said while speaking to The Guard.
Lethabo Mokhehle, Kutloano Tinte and Bonolo Tutubala are grade 7 learners from Sentinel Primary School who learn coding and robotics from joining the Compu-wizkids program. “I joined Compu-wizkids in 2018 and I have learned how to create and code my own programs and how to build robots,” Mokhehle said. “I have been part of this program from this year and already I have learned a lot and love coding and robotics,” Tinte said.
“After studying Information Technology (IT) at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) I realized through my own experience that the children in the urban areas are more advantaged than children in a rural area such as Qwaqwa so I decided to create a program that will bridge the digital divide between the children in my own community with the kids in the cities. That is why I created this program Compu-wizkidz so that I can teach children about coding and robotics at an early age because we also live in the era of 4IR, where STEM (Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics) subjects are very important,” Mphuthi said.
Compu-wizkidz offers a selection of programs tailored to teach grade level such as robotics, game design, animation, programming, introduction to electronics and more. The program also allows learners to learn fundamental skills in technology that will allow them to compete in the modern world and help them develop core skills that will prepare them for future academic and career success.
Essentially GovTech is where ICT trailblazers come together and share experiences, solutions and ideas that can showcase the power of technology to promote better planning, improved service delivery, and ensure an immediate recognizable impact on the lives of citizens. Mphuthi came home with all three awards that he was nominated for.