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Hard work pays off for KZN’s Information Literacy Programme trainees

The 2022 CA5300 trainees and Dr Philangani Sibiya during the certificate award ceremony in Mbazwana Education Centre

The Department of Information Science’s Computer and Information Literacy Community Engagement (CA5300) Project recently hosted a closing ceremony at the Mbazwana Education Centre in Kwazulu-Natal (KZN). At the ceremony, certificates of completion were also awarded to trainees who completed the programme.

Dr Philangani Sibiya, Project Leader and Mduduzi Mathenjwa, Training Facilitator

In his address, Project Leader, Dr Philangani Sibiya, shared the background and purpose of the project. Sibiya says the project has been running since 2014, and the primary focus has been on two communities: one in Mbazwana, KZN, and the other in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga. He further said adopting information technologies has proven to support and enhance teaching and learning. These technologies have brought about unprecedented changes and transformations in teaching and learning.

He emphasised that, while recognising the achievements and prospects for using these technologies, it is essential to realise that, without the skills and knowledge to be able to use these technologies or an understanding of user attitude and behaviour, their appropriation and exploitation (i.e. adoption and use) are likely to be ineffective. He said: “The Information Literacy Programme equips the trainees with basic computing concepts, acquaints them with fundamental operating system functions and the ability to use computers securely.” He added that the programme also expands information literacy skills and informs candidates about the uses of common software applications such as word processing, spreadsheet and presentation software.

Lungile Nhlenyama, Trainee of the Computer and Information Literacy programme

Seventy-two trainees who enrolled and completed the programme were awarded certificates of completion. One of the trainees, Lungile Nhlenyama, expressed gratitude to those who supported her during her learning journey. She said: “Such opportunities are rare in our community. Therefore, I am grateful to Unisa for giving us a chance to learn.”

She also shared some discouraging moments she had to deal with while attending the programme. “I remember people laughing at us. They even wrote on Facebook that this project would not benefit us and made fun of us.” But, she continued: “ Well, look at us today! We have acquired knowledge that nobody can take away from us.” Nhlenyama also thanked  Sibiya for giving back to the community through the Unisa Community Engagement Project. “When people become successful, they often forget about those who need help, but Dr Sibiya remembered us and planted a seed that will open doors of opportunities for many of us,” she expressed.

Project Training Facilitator, Mduduzi Mathenjwa, congratulated the trainees and applauded them for being respectful and committed to the learning process. He encouraged them to apply for opportunities with their newly acquired skills.

The second graduation ceremony of the 2022 cohort of trainees will take place at the Bushbuckridge Education Centre in Mpumalanga.

*By Ledile Jege, Communication and Marketing Specialist, College of Human Sciences

Publish date: 2022/11/21