VUT COLAB AND NEMISA EMPOWER MILITARY VETERANS WITH DIGITAL SKILLS
By Qhawekazi Memani 21 April 2022
Military veterans and their beneficiaries attending training
The Vaal University of Technology (VUT)’s E-Skills CoLab, a partner of the National Electronic Media Institute of South Africa (NEMISA), embarked on an empowerment project to skill Gauteng-based military veterans and their dependents with basic digital literacy skills.
NEMISA is a state-owned entity within the Department of Communications & Digital Technologies (DCDT).
In February 2022, the Department of Military Veterans (DMV) awarded a contract to the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) to train 5000 military veterans and their beneficiaries across the country. SITA approached NEMISA to implement the training and the VUT CoLab was awarded an opportunity to facilitate the training on behalf of NEMISA. The training commenced on 21st February and the sixth and last group completed on 1 April 2022. Participating groups were from neighboring areas such as Savanna City, Midvaal, West Rand, East Rand, Soweto, etc.
The format of the training included face-to-face facilitation, assessments, practical work, and assignments. This was a steep but exciting journey for some of the delegates, who had never touched computers before. Part of the training was delivered online on the NEMISA Digital Skills Platform and included topics such as Digital Literacies, Microsoft Office, Internet & Email, Social Networking, 4IR and various others.
Some of the dignitaries who attended the opening ceremony included Ms Irene Mpolweni (Director-General at DMV), Mr. Rorisang Molukanele (National Director of NEMISA CoLab), a representative from SITA, and Ms. Antoinette (Director: VUT E-Skills CoLab).
Sharing her sentiments about the programme, Ms Mpolweni said that the DMV had made progress in its quest to provide a dignified, unified, empowered, and self-sufficient community of veterans. “The digital literacy programme is the first of several educational programmes to be rolled out for the next three years,” she said.
Delivering the closing project remarks, Ms Lombard, said: “Upon completion, participants received a certificate of attendance from NEMISA/VUT. Some of the older DMV participants branded themselves ‘Military Digital Citizens’, who are now equipped with basic digital skills to enable them to participate in a digital society. This new naming convention gave even more meaning to the training and its impact. As the CoLab, we did what we are good at – changing lives, one at a time” she said.
Certification Award Ceremony
Proud certificate recipients during certification ceremony
Each of the six training groups, over the six weeks, concluded with an award ceremony which took place in the Desmond Tutu Great Hall every Friday afternoon.
The project will continue in Kimberley at the end of April and return to Gauteng in May 2022.
· In total, 687 participants (474 males and 213 females) were trained
· There were 56 participants with disabilities.
· 533 of the participants were older than 35 and
· Out of the 533, 142 were senior adults over 55.
The certification ceremonies closed off with Ms Lombard thanking every department at VUT that assisted in making this project a huge success, namely: Sisonke, Protection services, Printing and IT Services.