Computer training opens doors

22 December 2009 | Story by Newsroom

computer classComputer wise: Assoc Prof Sonia Berman (left, standing) and Shakiena Cassim (fourth in the back row), both from the Department of Computer Science, join staff who completed the basic computer literacy training. They are (standing) Clive van Graan, Zolisa Madikane, Xolile Jojozi, Norma Buckerfield, Nondyebo Madolo, Malusi Stenge, Wilson Pieterse, Malibongwe Majola, Noluvo Dwangu and Mavis Mlungisi. Seating are Joey Paulse, Phumzile Langata, Maggie Stemmet and Lorraine Nkemba

For Malusi Stenge, the basic computer literacy training he underwent at UCT will go a long way to developing him as a person and as an employee.

Although his line of duty as a handyperson at Tugwell Residence has nothing to do with computers, the skills he obtained have opened doors.

"I can now use the computer and will be able to apply for positions that require computer literacy - things I was unable to do before," he explained as he and 15 other staff members graduated from the course on 10 December.

Hosted at the Staff Learning Centre over 13 weeks, twice a year, the course teaches basic computer literacy to those with no, or very limited, computing skills. The course covers basic computing skills, such as understanding how a computer works, creating, storing and formatting documents in MS Word, creating and using simple spreadsheets in MS Excel. Participants also learn about ergonomics and are introduced to touch-typing.

Computer skills are vital to advancing one's career, said Kirsty Holmes, head of the Staff Learning Centre.

About the graduation, she said: "This is a very special occasion as some of the participants came to our course not knowing anything about using a computer."

Stenge agreed and said the course was difficult at the beginning, but he enjoyed it as the time went by. His sentiments were echoed by fellow student Wilson Pieterse, who said that although he has a computer at home, he has been unable to use it. Now the skills will not only enable him to operate it, but they will also enable him to do stock control at work.

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