The Boys2Men initiative is the brainchild of Tshepo Mokoena, founder of the Moving Ahead Development Agency (MADA). Its aim is to provide career guidance and opportunities for boys from rural regions who display a predisposition for technology and engineering.
“This initiative, in partnership with SAP, UNISA, Coca-Cola SA and the Gauteng Department of Education, is aimed at mentoring young boys to enable them to pursue a technical career,” said Mokoena.
In 2016, a group of 45 grade 10 pupils was chosen to participate in the programme. They had to achieve a pass rate average of above 75% for maths, English and science. All these boys have no father figures as role models, and this programme was developed to support them academically as well as socially.
At a gala dinner in Sandton last week, MADA awarded three of the pupils – Ntokozo Peter, Olwethu Else and Xolani Mzelemu – full bursaries to study IT at a tertiary institution. The other 42 boys in the programme will have their registration fees for tertiary study paid for next year.
In2IT Technologies has been involved in this programme since 2016. This year, it had the group spend a week at its offices, where they learnt about AI, blockchain and IT security. The company also sponsored two of the three bursaries handed out to the top three scholars from this year’s project.
Guest of honour at the event was the MEC for Education in Gauteng, Panyaza Lesufi, who praised the boys for the hard work they’ve put into their studies, urging them to continue working just as hard during their tertiary studies.
Saurabh Kumar, co-founder and CEO at In2IT Technologies SA, told ITWeb that the company will also be taking on board 110 IT graduates who have no work experience, and putting them through a three-month, hands-on AI programming course.
“We will then absorb 70% of this group into the company while the others will leave with hands-on experience, which they can use to further their careers.”
This article first appeared on ITWeb.