St John’s College learner shines in South African Programming Olympiad

HOUGHTON – The Grade 11 St John's College learner has won the Standard Bank Trophy at the 2019 National Programming Olympiad.

A Grade 11 learner at the St John’s College, Andi Qu has won the Standard Bank Trophy at the 2019 National Programming Olympiad, bringing the coveted prize back in Gauteng after three years in Western Cape.

This, despite, the Western Cape learners still excelled at this year’s Olympiad, taking eight of the top 10 spots.

This programme is a challenge for learners who can use a programming language like Scratch, Python, Java, C++ or Delphi.

In the first round, the participants have to solve a number of problems using the language of their choice. For the second and final rounds, the languages are more restricted.

The Programming Olympiad, a project of the Institute of IT Professionals South Africa (IITPSA), is sponsored by Standard Bank and supported by the University of Cape Town and the Oracle Academy.

Computing Olympiads are a key initiative driven by IITPSA to encourage South African learners to consider careers in ICT, according to IITPSA President Thabo Mashegoane.

“The IITPSA Computer Olympiad is one of the oldest and largest competitions of its kind in the world and has been held since 1984. We believe participation in these Olympiads helps young people learn the basic principles of programming and applications and exposes them to the opportunities open to them through the world of ICT,” said Mashegoane.

Michael Cameron, manager of the SA Computer Olympiad, said: “The Programming Olympiad not only celebrates the top programmers in schools nationwide, giving certificates to the top 50 per cent of the 2 500 participants, it also grows coding talent for Africa.”

The 2019 South African Programming Olympiad, now in its 36th year, saw high school learners from across the country contesting two rounds to reach the finals, where candidates had to use Python, Java, C++ and Pascal (for Delphi users) to solve a number of problems over two days.

Each participant receives a certificate and a number may receive university scholarships, and four of them will go on to participate in the International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI) in Singapore in July 2020.

Qu who won the trophy secured the gold medal, followed by Aaron Naidu from KwaZulu-Natal and Taariq Mowzer from the Western Cape who both won the silver medal.

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