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Through an internship programme at teacher centres across South Africa, hundreds of young people have been given access to the Microsoft Digital Literacy curriculum, which offers an introduction to ICT skills and concepts.

“Do a search for the most sought-after skills for employment in South Africa right now and, without fail, tech-related skills top that list. To find jobs for the millions of young South Africans without work, many of whom have never even had access to a PC, we need to find ways to equip them with these valuable skills,” says Roelof de Bruyn, Business Development Consultant of leading learning solutions provider, Masterskill.

This is where the Department of Education’s (DBE’s) District Teacher Development Centres (‘teacher centres’) come in. Thanks to a partnership between the DBE and Vodacom, 115 of South Africa’s 147 centres have been provided with Internet infrastructure, opening up a myriad of opportunities for e-learning... Read More

The university of life

“Today I hate speaking about failure and negativity.”

Lindelani Mhlongo

Lindelani Mhlongo, did his internship at  ICT Umbilo Dokkies in KwaZulu-Natal and learnt important lessons for surviving the workplace

Twenty-four year old Lindelani Mhlongo, who describes himself as “a street kid who loved technology”, was orphaned at the age of six. However, through sheer determination he managed to get himself off the streets of rural Phongola in KwaZulu-Natal to, in time, earn a degree in information technology from the Durban University of Technology. But his learning didn’t stop there. He believes that the internship experience equipped him with many important life skills that he will need in the workplace, from time management to dealing with people of all ages.. “An important lesson I learnt was to look for solutions as opposed to focusing on problems in the workplace. Today I hate speaking about failure and negativity,” reflects Lindelani Lindelani is proud of the positive impact the Microsoft training he facilitated at the teacher centre has had on the teachers and young people that participated. “Ninety nine per cent of the students that completed the Digital Literacy curriculum passed and many of them have now found work at retail companies where they are using their technology skills,” says Lindelani. “Most of… Read More

The gift of technology

“Giving people a skill that they have never been exposed to before is so rewarding and I am grateful for having been given that opportunity.”

Lerato Marcia

Lerato Marcia, an intern at the Alberton Teachers Development Centre was touched by the impact technology skills had on the lives of those attended her training sessions.

An IT graduate from Boston City Campus, Lerato Marcia says that the highlight of her internship experience at the teacher development centre in Alberton, south of Johannesburg, was seeing the immediate impact the training had on the teacher’s lives. “The pride and excitement on their faces when learning and mastering a new skill on Word was a definite highlight. Getting feedback on how the teachers had incorporated their new found skills into their work was a true joy,” says Lerato. “Knowing I had made a teacher’s job lighter was a heartfelt experience, especially knowing the impact that it would have on their teaching and family time,” she adds. Lerato feels that while the Microsoft Educator Community is a great platform for teachers to expand their knowledge of Microsoft products, there is a gap that needs to be bridged in order for them to fully benefit from the programme. “Due to the fact that most of them are still new to computer technology and still need to work out the basics such as how… Read More

Bringing hope to a small town

“This programme is having a massive impact on the community and I hope it continues.”

Gregory Bosaletsi

For Gregory Bosaletsi, an intern at the Xhariep District Teacher Development Centre, Free State, it was rewarding to equip young people in his community with much needed skills.

“This programme is having a massive impact on the community and I hope it continues because you don’t often find programmes like this in small towns. I am honoured to have been a part of it,’ says Gregory Bosaletsi. Gregory completed his internship at the Xhariep District Teacher Development Centre in Koffi efontein, a small farming town in the Free State around 70km from Jagersfontein where he grew up and still lives. The opportunity to complete the Digital Literacy Programme had a bigger impact on the youth than Gregory expected. “Some of the young people that came into the centre had no experience of computers. This programme gave them the opportunity to change that and also to walk out with a certificate that proves that they are computer literate.” “ Getting to the centre was a challenge for both teachers and young people from the community. Gregory managed to overcome this challenge by working with the Department of Social Development to coordinate transport. “Through the programme I have now had the opportunity… Read More

Sharing in the joy of learning

“After each training session, people would come and thank me for giving them the knowledge that nobody could take away from them.”

Siphosethu Velapi

Siphosethu Velapi who did her internship at the Lenahof Vodacom ICT Centre in Gauteng delighted in the opportunity to share her passion for technology with teachers and young people alike.

Siphosethu Velapi, a 24-year-old graduate of the Walter Sisulu University in East London has seen first hand the impact that the Microsoft training has had on teachers and young people at the Lenahof Vodacom ICT Centre In Pretoria. “The majority of the teachers and youth people that attended my training sessions were computer illiterate. I had to teach them the basic stuff, from how to switch on computers to how to use keyboards, a mouse and touchpad before I could even begin with Microsoft Office.” Siphosethu has always been excited by technology and curious about what makes things work and sharing this passion with others was very rewarding experience for her. “The most beautiful thing, one that makes me so proud of both myself and all the stakeholders that were involved in the project, was the smiles on the faces of the people that I trained. After each training session, people would come and thank me for giving them the knowledge that nobody could take away from them,” says Siphosethu.… Read More

A stepping-stone to success

“If it wasn’t for this internship programme I wouldn’t be where I am now.”

Jabulani Mashia

Jabulani Mashia, an intern at the Anglo American Career Guidance and Science Centre, embraced the challenge of sharing his knowledge with hundreds of young people in Mpumalanga

Despite having to travel 80km each morning to get the Anglo American Career Guidance and Science Centre in eMalahleni in Mpumalanga, Jabulani Mashia, a computer science graduate from the University of Limpopo, embraced the opportunity to assist young people to gain valuable skills. Jabulani was passionate about making the e-learning opportunity known to the community and during his internship hundreds of young people completed the Microsoft Digital Literacy curriculum. “The programme has given young people something to do. This is much better than sitting at home doing nothing, which sometimes leads to negative behaviours such as crime,” explains Jabulani. “While most of the youth came to the teacher centre not knowing anything about computers, many have left with certificates that have enabled them to get jobs,” he says. Jabulani who has been given a job opportunity as a software tester at global technology company, LTI (formerly known as L&T Infotech) in Johannesburg, is grateful for the exposure that he was given to a professional environment through the internship. “As an intern I was… Read More