UKZN’s School of Education in partnership with the Community Development Association Foundation (CDAF) organised a Digital Literacy and Work Readiness Programme – BANKSETA Skills for the Future – for economically disadvantaged Grade 12 learners in rural communities in Limpopo.
The programme equips economically disadvantaged Grade 12 learners in rural schools with scarce and critical skills thereby increasing their chances of finding work in the banking sector and beyond.
The project was headed by Dean and Head of the School Professor Thabo Msibi acting as the Senior Project Manager, and the Project Manager Professor Phumlani Myende.
The participating schools were D.Z.J Mtebule Secondary School, Magoza Secondary School, Modubatse Secondary School, Mohumi Secondary School and Ramatau Secondary School.
Through the project, BANKSETA has created a pool of learners who possess relevant skills enabling them to function in the 4th Industrial Revolution, as it relates to the banking sector.
Two hundred learners from five science and mathematics focused schools in the Mopani West District in Limpopo were selected to be a part of the programme.
Msibi saw this as an opportunity to contribute in helping shape the future of the country and empowering young people. ‘UKZN has a particular commitment towards innovation and responding proactively to technological developments that are critical for the future of work. Education must respond in ways that empower our youth to be adaptable, entrepreneurial, innovative and to have transferable skills.’
Said Limpopo MEC for Education Ms Polly Boshielo: ‘We appreciate the efforts, dedication, love, care, knowledge imparted and consistency of our facilitators from UKZN along with the district operators and representatives of the provincial Cabinet. Each session was facilitated in an engaging style. We had clear direction on how to practice and to be able to think out of the box. The programme was clearly a success and I thank everyone for working with us in such an accommodating way. We got to learn that teamwork is important.’
The digital literacy component explored themes of digital technologies and advanced concepts, and coding and software/application development, while the work readiness programme covered employment and career opportunities in the banking sector, soft skills required in the workplace, workplace values and ethics, labour laws and basic regulatory compliance, and extended mentoring.
The participating learners were presented with certificates of competence and attendance by UKZN. There are also plans to launch an alumni club for the learners which will serve as a platform for continuous interaction between learners, facilitators and mentors in order to track and support the progress of learners.