Skills for ICT community workers

21 October 2009

The South African government’s e-Cadre Programme, officially launched this week, offers information and communication technology (ICT) training to unemployed youngsters from rural areas – then deploys them to help their communities access government services.

The programme has already seen R8-million spent on ICT literacy training for 765 matriculants through 15 Further Education and Training (FET) colleges.

Launching the programme in Rustenburg this week, Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda said youngsters would be recruited and trained to provide technical support in various areas, including clinics and police stations.

The programme provides people between the ages of 18 and 30 “with an opportunity to contribute towards civic responsibility and reconstruction while acquiring skills to enhance their entrepreneurial capacity,” Nyanda said.

At the same time, the programme would help address the shortage of skills needed to respond to South Africa’s growing ICT needs.

Nyanda said his department had already spent about R8-million since the programme was introduced. This amount covered the tuition and assessment fees for the training, the life orientation module, a stipend and travelling and accommodation fees.

The programme, a partnership between the Department of Communications, the National Youth Service and 15 Further Education and Training (FET) colleges, has three phases: formal training, service deployment, and an exit strategy.

The first phase of the programme was concluded in 2008, with the training of 765 matriculants in the International Computer Driving Licence, a globally recognised ICT literacy certification programme.

“We believe that ICT can create greater access to opportunities, redress inequalities, and improve the quality of teaching and learning,” the minister said.

Source: BuaNews