Western Cape Schools Excel in National Computer Olympiad | Western Cape Government


Western Cape Schools Excel in National Computer Olympiad

1 August 2006
Out of a record number of 31,926 students from 433 schools around the country, no less than eight of the 15 finalists for this year's National Computer Olympiad are from the Western Cape - of which three each from Rondebosch and Stellenberg high schools. They will now compete in the finals on 16 and 17 September at the University of Cape Town.

The aim of the Olympiad is to promote the use of computers in the classroom and encourage and reward excellence. Although the competition is aimed at high school learners, any learner may enter under the name of a school.

The Computer Olympiad is one of the oldest and largest competitions of its kind in the world, and has been hosted by the Computer Society of South Africa (CSSA) for the last 22 years.

The sponsors of the Olympiad are Standard Bank and the CSSA. In addition the Shuttleworth Foundation offers R100,000 in prize money for participants using Open Source Programming Language.

Peter Waker, Manager of the South African Computer Olympiad has announced that a record number of 31,926 students from 433 schools took part in the first round. Of these 3,873 students from 223 schools qualified to participate in the Second Round. Of those the top 15 students will participate in the Final Round next month.

Mr Waker is delighted with the results. "In 2003 we tripled the number of entries. This year saw the entries double again. It is most rewarding to see the growth in participation. Many schools are using the First Round of the Computer Olympiad as an aptitude test to see if learners should consider a career in IT."

A great attraction for 2006 is the additional R100,000 in prize money made available by the Shuttleworth Foundation for participants using Python. Python is the Open Source programming language used by Mark Shuttleworth to write the computer software that made him a billionaire. Unlike commercial programming languages, Python is available free of charge. (www.python.org)

An unusual aspect of this year's competition is the domination of two schools, Rondebosch Boys' High and Stellenberg High, which have three learners each in the finals. It has been very rare to have two learners from the same school in the finals, let alone three.

Said Western Cape Education MEC Cameron Dugmore: "Congratulations to all the Western Cape finalists for their excellent results. You have done us proud and we wish you every success."

While paying tribute to the finalists, he also paid tribute to their schools. "It is clear that our schools are providing excellent support for computer studies. The results reflect the skills of the finalists as well as the commitment of our schools to excellence and the professionalism of our teachers."

For further information, contact Peter Waker, Manager: SA Computer Olympiad, Tel: 021 448 7864, Fax: 021 447 8410, Email: info@olympiad.org.za.

The eight Western Cape finalists are:

Charles Bradshaw, Grade 12, Rondebosch Boys' High, Cape Town
Dirk Coetzee, Grade 12, Stellenbosch High, Stellenbosch
Conrad Hofmeyer, Grade 12, Stellenberg High, Durbanville
Ralf Kistner, Grade 12, Paul Roos Gymnasium, Stellenbosch
Raeez Lorgat, Grade 11, Rondebosch Boys' High, Cape Town
Francois Malherbe, Grade 12, Stellenberg High, Durbanville
Saadiq Moolla, Grade 11, Rondebosch Boys' High, Cape Town
Herman Schaaf, Grade 12, Stellenberg High, Durbanville

Thirteen Western Cape schools are among the top 40 schools in the Olympiad thus far.
The following is a list of these schools in alphabetical order, and the names of their top candidates:

D F Malan High, Morné Alberts, Grade 12
De Kuilen High, Francois Conradie, Grade 9
Deutsche Schule Kapstad, Volkmar Schuler and Mattis van Eck, Grade 12
Hermanus High, Nico Zandberg, Grade 12
Herzlia High, Ross Engers, Grade 12
Parel Vallei, Francois van Niekerk, Grade 11
Paul Roos Gymnasium, Ralf Kistner, Grade 12
Reddam House, Kylie Fenner, Grade 11
Rondebosch Boys, Saadiq Moolla, Grade 11
South African College, Wesley Hendricks, Grade 11
Stellenberg High, Herman Schaaf, Grade 12
Stellenbosch High, Dirk Coetzee, Grade 12
Westerford High, Mallin Moolman, Grade 12

For enquiries:
Gert Witbooi
Media Liaison Officer
Office of the MEC for Education
Western Cape
Tel: 021 467 2523
Fax: 021 425 5689
Email: gwitbooi@pgwc.gov.za
Visit our website: http://wced.wcape.gov.za

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