Communications Department awarding certificates to the youth offenders in Leeuwkop Correctional Centre
11 Mar 2011
Over 200 youth offenders have benefited from a skills development programme initiated by the Department of Communications together with the Department of Correctional Services. This culminated today with the graduation ceremony where the offenders were awarded with a certificate empowering them with the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skill.
The youth offenders received certificates in International Computer Drivers Licence (ICDL) and A+ Computer Technical Training. Department of Communications realised the need that although globally young people are the early adopters and users of ICTs, in this country, the legacy of educational imbalances has denied the youth of South Africa this opportunity to maximally access and use ICTs, due to inadequate and or lack of skills, thus the department contributed close to R2 million into the e-Literacy Programme for youth offenders.
During the ceremony, Correctional Services Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said the graduation attests to the department’s commitment to ensure that all offenders are rehabilitated, in order to reduce their chances of re-offending once they are released.
“Human beings must be occupied in order to produce and make a living. We must create opportunities for them to be occupied in a manner that they can make a living. Without skills and without jobs such an opportunity does not exist for many young offenders in our facilities”, said the proud Mapisa-Nqakula.
The project also responds to a call made by President Jacob Zuma during his state of the nation address when he said; “We urge every sector and every business entity, regardless of size, to focus on job creation. Every contribution counts in this national effort. All government departments will align their programmes with the job creation imperative. The provincial and local government spheres have also been requested to do the same.”
Keeping in line with the government’s objectives the department has decided to focus on the Job Creation in the ICT industry priority and objective. The department has embarked on programmes that will promote the usage and uptake of the ICT tools; to improve the lives of the ordinary citizens of the Republic of South Africa.
The partnerships with which the Department of Correctional Services, has assisted in empowering the future prospects of the many young women and men in their prison systems. The departments worked with companies such as Microsoft, Phenduka and Learn Things Africa as a training entity.
“When the Department of Communications approached us about the rehabilitation and life skills programmes for youth offenders, we offered funding through our student 2 business programme, partnering with Phenduka Consulting because almost every job today requires for an individual to be computer literate, a programme focusing on technology education was designed”, says Microsoft Africa General Manager, Mteto Nyati.
“Today, we celebrate a 100% success rate in this programme first execution, as 100 trainees receive their certificate in A+, digital literacy, life and personal mastery skills. This programme offers the Correctional Service trainees a stepping stone to finding”
The programme is being rolled out in two phases; the first phase has just been completed and the second is in the training phase. The training is based on 7 International Computer Drivers License (ICDL) modules. A total of 81 learners including 12 Department of Correctional Service officials also obtained the ICDL qualifications.
The first phase of the programme, which was incepted in 2009 and 2010, targeted 250 youth offenders in the following regions:
Modderbee and Leeuwkop Correctional Centre in the Gauteng province,
Barberton Correctional Centre in Mpumalanga province
Durban Westville Female Correctional Centre in KwaZulu-Natal province.
Successful applicants who passed will be awarded with ICDL full certification and will be eligible to register to be ICDL facilitators and to serve in the Correctional Centres, as well when they are integrated back into their societies.
All the participants of the programme will receive competence certificates issued by the accredited training provider Learn Things Africa.
The second phase which began in 2010 for 2011 will target 500 youth offenders, in the, Eastern, Northern and Western Cape provinces.
Eastern Cape province
Western Cape province
Northern Cape province
“I am so pleased that this initiative is spreading its tentacles to ensure that we reach all the corners of our country. Today we have youth from the Mpumalanga, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Northern Cape provinces. This has been made possible by the contributions from Microsoft South Africa, Phenduka Training Institute; I extend our sincere gratitude for their contribution.
The Department of Communications fully understands the concept of partnerships with the Department of Correctional Services, private Sector and Families towards a complete rehabilitation”, concludes Deputy Minister, Obed Bapela.
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Issued by: Department of Communications
11 Mar 2011
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