Press release: ISPA Addresses Scarce IT Skills Situation
As the school semester drew to a close for the winter holidays, educators were preparing for their round of computer skills training hosted by the Internet Service Providers’ Association of SA (ISPA). Beginners and intermediate computer literacy training courses were held over 5 days from Monday, 23 to 27 June in Limpopo, Free State and Mpumalanga. Further training took place in the Eastern Cape from Monday, 30 June to Friday, 04 July.
“Knowledge is a powerful attribute as it unveils the true potential of individuals. Installing the ICT (Information & communications technologies) environment in schools is simply not enough without individuals knowing how to extract the benefits of that technology. ISPA’s investment in skills training addresses this concern,” said Theo Kramer, chairperson of ISPA’s Teacher Training Working Group.
Some of the main challenges confronting our country are that the vast majority of people still do not have a basic IT education. This coupled with the fact that IT companies are doing away with training programmes to curb organisational costs. While the situation is not unique to developing countries, schools and universities in many developed countries are also looking to improve their curricula.
“Partnerships with private entities are absolutely essential in ensuring that Information Technology (IT) is accessible to everybody in society regardless of the individual’s status, level of education, age and ability,” added Mr Kramer.
ISPA’s nationwide teacher training programme has grown from strength to strength with the financial backing of UniForum SA, the CO.ZA Registry. Some 101 educators have benefited from the latest round of skills training in June and July. Inclusive of this training, ISPA will have trained 1 357 educators with UniForum SA sponsoring almost 2 000 computers to this cause.
Educators will be trained on OpenOffice2 by SETA (Sector Education & Training Authority) accredited assessors from Avuxeni Computer Academy. Upon successful completion of the training, educators will be awarded with certificates in acknowledgement of their achievement. Educators will also obtain credits from the training, which qualifies them to apply for advanced computer training courses.
“Access to education as well as the right to access and impart information is within everyone’s constitutional right. In the absence of the above, individuals are not empowered to enhance their personal situation in terms of educating themselves, finding suitable employment and sustaining a regular income,” stated Mr Mokgehle from Toronto Primary School in Limpopo, one of the host schools targeted for training.
ISPA hosts an annual award ceremony called “The Super Teacher of the Year Award,” which recognises educators who are best able to impart their newly-acquired knowledge to learners and their local communities. One outstanding winner who successfully promotes and utilises his/her training skills will secure the main prize. The annual Award ceremony will be held at an Internet event called iWeek taking place from 17 to 19 September at The Forum in Bryanston, Johannesburg.
ISPA extends their appreciation to the following companies who have chosen to support the training programme: Absa Bank, eNetworks, Snowball Effect, X-DSL Broadband, Imaginet, MTN Network Solutions, Cybersmart, Internet Solutions, Posix, SAI Futurenet and Intoweb Training for sponsoring software.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
Schools that were trained from 23 to 27 June and 30 June to 04 July 2008 include the following:
- Free State
- Kwelitsong Secondary School (Host School) – 10 educators
- Toronto Primary School (Host School) – 10 educators
- Mountain View Secondary School – 10 educators
- Thokgwaneng Primary School (Host School) – 20 educators
- Mphephethe Primary School (Host School) – 7 educators
- Hedrina Primary School – 7 educators
- Kwazamokuhle Secondary School – 7 educators
- Eastern Cape
- Coffee Bay Christian School (Host School) – 15 educators
- Madakeni Junior Secondary School – 15 educators
For further information, please contact the ISPA secretariat on the Contact ISPA page.