Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality is providing free digital training to young people to help them become confident when using technology.
The free online Microsoft Information Communication Technology (ICT) training programme will enable them to write and create mobile applications as well as create games and websites. The training programme, which started in mid-August, is open to young people in Ekurhuleni aged between seven and 21. Through the programme the youth will learn essential basic computer skills, digital literacy, creative coding, app studio and touch development.
Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality Head of Division for ICT Lydia Ntlhophi said the aim of the programme is to encourage an interest in ICT among young people. “We have free Wi-Fi in most of our townships therefore we want to use and maximise that investment. We’ve realised that young people are roaming the streets and are not participating in the digital world so we want to bring them on board and tap into their innovative and creative minds so that they can compete. She adds that it was important for both young and old people to start using technology and become computer literate so that they don’t miss out on opportunities.
"The pilot programme, which is now running, is expected to continue until next year and has so far attracted more than 480 young people to the city’s libraries. The Germiston Library has an intake of 164 while the Ekurhuleni Library has 318 students. This is our first intake and whatever lessons are learnt from this, we’ll take them forward and perfect this course. We will take on another group of students from January until March and we will be expanding this to more libraries,” she says.
The programme will see learners work in groups to decide on a project towards the end of the course and develop it from start to finish with the support of their mentors. Learners are then expected to obtain an 80 percent pass rate in the digital numeracy course for them to move on to the next level. Learners are then given an option to pursue a six-week course on computer analytics which is also offered for free at Ekurhuleni libraries.