A lecture theatre in the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Hoerikwaggo Building on upper campus was abuzz with excitement, with roaring laughter and cheers echoing down the halls and the stairway. These were celebratory sounds as members of UCT’s Estates and Custodial Services – a division of the Properties and Services Department – received special recognition for their ongoing participation in a digital literacy programme.
Facilitated by UCT’s Information and Communication Technology Services (ICTS) training team, the programme ia aimed at teaching staff members basic computer literacy and, in turn, empower them to use technology devices such as a desktop computer, laptop and tablet. The short course has been under way since July 2022 and includes a weekly in-person class to school participants in various digital areas, including understanding technology terminology.
More than 100 staff members are signed up to participate in the programme and diligently attend the Tuesday morning classes held in different venues across campus. The first phase of the programme concludes early next year.
According to ICTS’s Charmaine Van der Merwe, the course has been designed with two goals in mind: to help participants use a computer confidently and to assist them with accessing important online employee systems like payslips, leave requests and email. Since July, staff have completed nine out of 15 module categories.
“We are so proud of all of you and really wanted to honour your commitment to the digital literacy programme.”
On Tuesday, 1 November, participants packed a Hoerikwaggo lecture theatre to receive their nine magnetic badges in recognition of the modules they have completed. The badges were presented on a black board designed to resemble a tablet device. Van der Merwe said the reception was arranged to thank participants for their dedication and for pitching up and pressing on even though finding the right keys on the keyboard was not always an easy task, and using a mouse was far more complicated than it appeared to be.
“We are so proud of all of you and really wanted to honour your commitment to the digital literacy programme. You have all achieved so much already,” Van Der Merwe said.
UCT Estates and Custodial staff packed the Hoerikwaggo lecture theatre on upper campus for an event aimed at acknowledging their participation in a digital literacy programme.
A priceless opportunity
Mogammat Dawids, a member of the campus cleaning team stationed in the Hoerikwaggo Building, said the short course has been challenging yet rewarding. But he has embraced every second of it and is eager to continue the learning process and start the second phase of the programme when the time comes.
“I feel like a child who’s just been given a new toy and the novelty hasn’t worn off. I want to continue learning because the learning journey never ends; it’s an ongoing journey. This course has already taught me so much; the resources on that little machine are unbelievable. I am grateful for this opportunity,” Dawids said.
His fellow classmate Vinah Dyantyi agreed. Dyantyi, another member of the campus cleaning team based in the PD Hahn Building on upper campus, said she participated in a computer literacy course in 2002, but so much has changed since then. She felt it was time for a refresher course. Two decades later and Dyantyi said she is amazed at how things have evolved. She said she was thankful that she is able to freely participate in the course and to further upskill herself in the digital arena.
“It’s been a good learning experience for me. I have enjoyed it a lot and look forward to the next phase as well,” she said.
The second phase of the digital literacy programme will involve teaching participants how to use Microsoft Teams, LinkedIn Learning and Excel, Outlook and Word in greater detail.
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