Educating one community at a time through E-Skills

Educating one community at a time through E-Skills

E-Skills Upington Graduates

Azande Ralephenya

Excellence was the order of the day at the E-Literacy certificate ceremony held in Upington on 31 October. Graduates who consistently put in their effort throughout the course, received their certificates with pride.

A group of young people from Upington took the opportunity to learn basic e-literacy skills (computer, internet, email and mobile skills) and a group of employees working at local radio stations in the greater Northern Cape completed their National Certificate in Radio production. They were provided with the skills to build better and well empowered communities.

E-Literacy is a course presented under the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) E-skills CoLab which is a programme developed to train community members by giving them basic e-literacy skills. The training course lasts for a duration of 3-4 weeks depending on the level at which the students start. The E-skills – E-literacy course is accredited by VUT as a short learning programme and aims to upskill and develop less privileged communities. The certificate ceremony was held in collaboration with NEMISA (National Electronic Media Institute of South Africa). A separate group of 20 radio station managers and producers from community radio stations based in Upington and surrounding areas also received their National Certificates after completing a training course that focused on all aspects of radio production.

The E-Skills – E-literacy program is one of many programmes offered by the VUT CoLab which falls under the Strategic Alliance Unit based at the Vaal University of Technology Science and Technology Park, with a satellite E-skills centre at the Technology Transfer and Innovation (TTI) in Upington,

Dressed in their graduation gowns, this was a proud moment for all the students. Some who didn’t even imagine that they’d ever reach such a milestone in their lives.

“We live in a country where community radio is saturated with pop culture and where gig guides are promoted over the ideals and awareness of democracy” said, Mr Doc Fick, Head of Department of Broadcast at NEMISA in his opening address. One of NEMISA’s courses is to train station managers. They are trained on the importance of promoting and advancing the ideals of democracy and social justice. It is a collective responsibility as community radio stations to educate society at large. The objective is to change the way radio sounds and impact people through education, and through programmes such as this, the community of Upington has benefitted greatly.

A congratulatory message to all graduates was delivered by VUT Vice-Chancellor & Principal Professor Gordon Zide who was in attendance with the VUT Registrar, Dr Dan Mokoena as well as VUT Upington’s Campus Principal Mr Dennis Adams. The event was concluded by Ms Antoinette Lombard, the Director for E-skills at the University and the person responsible, together with the Department of Telecommunications and Postal services, for implementing this life changing course throughout the Northern Cape.

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