2011 - Digital Literacy Programme

IZA’s exciting new project for 2011: establishing a Digital Literacy Programme in Philippolis

In 2011 Independence ZA launches its most important project since its inception: to provide exclusive funding for a digital literacy programme, which will be run by our community-based partners, The Good Work Foundation. We’ll establish a licensed ICDL centre in the town of Philippolis, which will provide internationally recognised computer and digital skills certifications. In the first year we’ll train 30 students with a view to rolling out a wider programme in year two. Below is further information about this important initiative.

The Need

Being computer literate and able to navigate the digital world is a fundamental building block for a successful future. In poor, rural areas in South Africa, a Matric certificate (equivalent of A-levels) doesn’t provide adequate access and preparation for the world of work and tertiary studies. A low standard of English and computer skills is taught, skills without which the Matric certificate is worth very little. Therefore students in South Africa’s poor and rural areas are significantly disadvantaged.

The Solution

Independence ZA believes a solution to poor digital education lies in our Digital Literacy Programme. We’ll be focussing on providing young students the digital skills required for life in the 21st century. Through our local partner, The Good Work foundation, which has a qualified facilitator, Elviera Smeer, we’ll register Bergmanshoogte Primary School as an accredited ICDL centre in 2011. The classes will be offered to school leavers and other young adults, using the school’s computer lab.

What is ICDL?

The International Computer Driver License (ICDL) is an internationally recognised qualification stemming from the Europe-based ECDL organisation. Its mission is to enable proficient use of IT that empowers individuals, organisations and society through the development, promotion and delivery of quality certification programmes throughout the world. As a not-for-profit organisation, the ICDL is committed to improving digital skills proficiency within society.

In 2011 we’ll train 30 students in four core ICDL modules, equipping them with all the necessary computer skills they need in order to compete in the working world today. Once they have written the exams we’ll identify some high potential students who could become facilitators to work with Elviera. They will then complete further modules so that they can qualify as facilitators.

Growing the programme…

Using the school as the initial learning hub we’ll begin training in 2011 and the ongoing training of new facilitators will ensure the sustainability of the programme and enable us, dependent on further funding, to replicate this model in similar rural areas.

What will this mean?

The digital literacy programme will have some obvious direct benefits:

  • Graduates will be fully equipped with email and internet, and basic word processing and spreadsheet skills. This will allow them to participate in society, work and further education on a more stable and equal footing. Those who excel will also be trained as facilitators and trainers.

We believe the programme will open up further opportunities:

  • The students will be equipped with skills to find employment.

  • There is the possibility that some of the high potential and motivated students further their studies in the field of IT and Education

  • There is opportunity for the entrepreneurs among those trained to create businesses utilising the training they have, for example opening internet cafes or selling goods on eBay.

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