Let’s Compute, to Compete
The South African youth unemployment percentage was set at 36.1% in 2014. The main culprit of the joblessness in our country is reported to be lack of skills. Many of our youth are left jobless because they do not possess digital skills and the few that have the digital know how expand their horizons and accumulate a number of jobs per person. The government must take responsibility and form partnerships with the educational institutions to assist the youth in their learning as well as encouraging the people whose jobs it is to educate the students at all levels of schooling to use traditional ways of teaching in conjunction with teaching with technology. The country stands to benefit by growing economically if the workforce increases and is productive. Companies that are using e-learning report that there are improvements in language, literacy and numeracy gaps and this for them makes e-learning a positive tool to implement. It should be motivating enough to the government of the day that one of the challenges that South African e-learning arena is affected by one aspect on which only the government has control over, power supply. It is frustrating enough to have to deal with load shedding here and there personally.
Now imagine a class of willing students, workers and facilitators alike sitting in a session just when they are about to engage in an interesting activity they lose the connectivity. To add to the problems we have that hinder us from surfing the same current as the leading countries in e-learning is the teachers. It would be ideal to start the youth with e-learning before they reach the institutions of higher learning but the disappointing factor is the people who are responsible for their education at this level. The digital skills issue is not only a problem at the school levels but at the institutions of higher education, though it is not as severe as in schools but we still have lecturers who lack the skills and for some of those with the skills they do not invest in themselves by seeking further training. Not pointing the finger only at the teachers and the lecturers, what do the managers of these institutions have to say for themselves? We all need to look at ourselves; the digital trainers included, and ask ourselves this one question: ‘What am I NOT doing to get the people that teach, committed to digital learning?’
We have not yet reached the epitome of online learning South Africa!