This teenager installed a computer lab for students to dream in code


Classrooms just got a whole lot cooler. The Department of Basic Education recently announced that they’re introducing coding to the South African curriculum. But not every school has access to computers. While some students are equipped with the knowledge to contribute to the country’s technological growth, others lack the resources to study even the basics. The results of this dichotomy become more pronounced later in life. This was the experience for 17-year-old Nadine Maselesele. “I was surprised when I got to college and learnt that the learners did not know how to prepare a CV on a computer,” she says. To boost their skills, Maselesele went back to her alma mater.

At Salt River High School, she began tutoring Maths and Science while advocating for IT education. As a result of her efforts, Maselesele was chosen as a fellow of the Facebook Community Leadership Programme. She received the opportunity to visit Facebook’s headquarters in California – and $50 000 to build a fully equipped computer lab at her old school. “We call it The Dream Lab,” Maselesele says. The students can now develop their basic computer skills, complete assignments, learn to code, and create online portfolios to assist their future job applications. 

“Since the lab has been installed, the learners have been far more motivated and inspired to learn,” Maselesele says. Technology in the classroom can either be a major distraction or a great asset in sparking interest. Resources like this allow students to take control of their education. Maselesele has been instrumental in driving this development. Though she’s barely out of high school, she hasn’t hesitated to give back. “Creating a legacy of change can start from any age,” Maselesele says.