Change the world


Nearly two-thirds of schools in SA lack computer labs. One professor has found a way to fill the gap.

With old-fashioned puzzles, a few smart phones and a few clever apps, Nelson Mandela University professor Jean Greyling and his team are teaching computer coding to thousands of students who do not have access to computer laboratories. 

When confronted with a desperate need to introduce coding in schools that did not have computer laboratories, Greyling and Byron Batteson, one of his honours students, turned to the age-old craft of building puzzles. “For many years my students said we must do something to make children aware of software development,” said Greyling, who has been a lecturer at Nelson Mandela University since 1992 and is now a professor.

This was always also going to be an uphill battle: about 16,000 of the 25,000 schools in South Africa do not have proper computer laboratories. The cost of a laboratory is upwards of R1-million.

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First published in the Daily Maverick 168 weekly newspaper. Written by Estelle Ellis. 

Jean Greyling, Associate Professor at the Department of Computing Sciences, Nelson Mandela University. (Photo: Roxy Klein)

Contact information
Prof. Jean Greyling
Head of Department & Associate Professor
Tel: 27 41 504 2081