The Cape Town-based CodeSpace, an education institution that offers coding courses that teach people to design and create technology, plans to expand its campus footprint in the near future across all major South African cities.
Founded in 2014, CodeSpace is a social enterprise that exists to bridge the learning divide within the developing world by providing education that empowers people to imagine and create technology. CodeSpace has a particular mandate to increase diversity and inclusion in the tech industry and supports the community, Code for Cape Town.
“CodeSpace’s vision is to enable people to learn, unlearn and relearn so that they become active contributors within an ever-changing global economy,” co-founder Emma Dicks told Disrupt Africa.
“The future we are working towards is one where CodeSpace graduates will be active contributors within an ever-changing global economy. CodeSpace graduates will realise their potential to manifest change. They will leverage technology for social innovation and shape a new face of technology in South Africa, the continent and the world.”
To achieve this CodeSpace, which has operated in the high school market since 2014 and in the tertiary market since 2016, runs high-intensity courses that push learners to future-proof themselves in a rapidly changing economy. It identifies talent to enter the academy through a stringent admissions process, and has a bursary fund available to ensure that financial barriers do not stand in a student’s path.
CodeSpace Academy’s educational offerings develop a coder’s skills across their career – from extramural coding courses for high school learners, full-time tertiary study programmes, internship programmes and short courses for working professionals.
“We address the fact that South Africa, and Cape Town in particular, has a fast-growing tech industry and yet our education system is not equipping young people with the skills they need to be able to participate meaningfully in it, reap economic benefit from it and exercise their voice through it,” said Dicks.
“There are plenty of ways to learn to code, but we believe that our model of blended learning is the most effective method – and the most scalable. Simply put, it combines the flexibility of learning online, which suits independent students beautifully, with the security and encouragement of the classroom. For many of our students, the in-person components are additionally valuable in that they include preparation for entry into a work environment.”
CodeSpace currently operates primarily in Cape Town, but has also been involved in implementing coding projects as far afield as George, Knysna, Kimberley, Tsakane, Villiersdorp, and King William’s Town. Dicks said it plans to expand its campus footprint in the near future across all major South African cities, and ultimately across major tech hubs in high growth regions.
“We’ve experienced a strong demand from young people interested in the possibilities the tech industry offers – and in an industry-relevant mode of acquiring the necessary skills,” she said.
“We’ve also gained good traction in developing an ecosystem of partner organisations that share our vision for scalable tech education, and help us to make things happen when it comes to placements, mentoring, networking and even fundraising.”
CodeSpace’s primary revenue stream is course fees, which are paid by employers, partner organisations, charitable donors or students themselves.