Fifty students from the Free State have received a once in a once-in-a-life-time opportunity to be part of a six-month Information Communication Technology (ICT) training programme in India.
The Free State Provincial Government, in partnership with Tech Mahindra, sent 50 students from across the province to India recently.
This brings the total number of students on the Tech Mahindra ICT programme in India to 100. The first group of students left in June this year.
Tech Mahindra is an Indian multinational provider of information technology, networking technology solutions and business support services to the telecommunications industry.
Last year a team from the Free State government visited Tech Mahindra in India and on their return expressed an interest in working with the company to help with skills of young people in ICT.
“Students were chosen from a shortlist provided by the Free State government. Those students had to go through an assessment before they were given the go-ahead to be part of the programme,” said Tech Mahindra’s Satish Chandra.
The students are made up of Grade 12 learners, college learners and those with basic ICT training.
The training programme will be provided with top-notch infrastructure available at Tech Mahindra, and will be handled by highly qualified professionals.
“I am very happy to get this opportunity of furthering my studies in India. This is a once-in-a-life-time opportunity and I promise the Free State Government to work hard and acquire the necessary skills that will assist in moving the Free State forward,” said Mapaseka Raputsoane, a resident of Botshabelo, who is part of the group.
Once the students complete the ICT programme, the Free State Provincial Government will help with placement of these students at various government departments and entities.
Tech Mahindra will also identify students who do well and put measures in place to absorb them at their satellite office in South Africa.
“It is important that we look into a well-coordinated approach of advancing issues of service delivery through reconfiguration of the current partisan approach to ICT to a more collaborative approach that will see ICT play a more crucial role in advancing the province,” said the Chief Information Officer, Thabang Mokoka.
Sending the students to India forms part of the resolutions of the Free State ICT Summit held in June 2015, said Mokoka.
In addition to this group of students jetting off to India, are nine students who will be studying Pharmacy at the Manipal Medical University, in the Kanataka State of India.
The Free State Provincial Government has identified Pharmacy as one of the scarce skills in the province, particularly manufacturing pharmacists, and Manipal Medical University, which is one of the biggest and well established medical institutions in India, will be well-placed in helping the students with the skills they need.
“The development of our economy lies in the growth of our people through education,” said Free State Premier Ace Magashule.
“Our focus on education has yielded excellent results over the past five years and we will continue to tirelessly work towards growing and strengthening the professional skills base in the province, and the country as a whole,” the Premier said.