- Created on Monday, 01 October 2012 09:32
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Seen by many as institutions that dish out substandard qualifications, further education and training (FET)colleges are set for a major partnership that will see them transformed into ICT hubs that will produce the much needed ICT skills in the country.
This will happen courtesy of a collaboration between Cisco Systems, a US-headquartered ICT company which has an office and operations in the country and Africa, the Department of Communications as well as the Department of Higher Education and Training.
This deal with Cisco Systems has given Cisco a right to establish networking academies within all 52 FET centres across the country.
These academies, according to Cisco’s regional lead, Sub-Saharan Africa, Alfie Hamid, will give students a chance to get crucial skills and industry qualifications needed to transform the economy of the country in the area of technology.
A website says there is a high demand in the tech industry for employees with Cisco qualifications.
It further says the list of Cisco certifications defines each certification and links them to training resources.
The Communications Department is tasked with enhancing communication using technology while Higher education is tasked with delivering quality education in all sectors.
This partnership then enables the three giants to come together and launch an onslaught against the lack of ICT skills.
This will be a free service for students enrolled in FET colleges. “We saw the shortage of ICT skills and collaborated with government to help provide a free platform for these skills to be produced.
“The good thing about this collaboration is that while students are in colleges they will get the qualification and industry qualification at once.
“They (students) will no longer be required to seek industry qualifications after training in colleges before they could be absorbed by the market,” said Hamid in Durban in the side-lines of the Sita GovTech ICT conference which too, which coincidentally, had a theme encouraging ICT collaboration between government and the private sector ICT companies.
The conference concluded on Friday. “Currently we are covering few FET colleges but soon all the 52 FET colleges in the country will have a Cisco Networking Academy.
“Worth mentioning is that we are also covering universities like Mangosuthu University of Technology and Durban University of Technology and some (technical) schools. In fact we started this almost 15 years ago via our CSI projects and we have spent around R50m so far.
“I must admit that I am impressed by what we are getting from a university like Mangosuthu at UMlazi Township. It is one of the best universities in KwaZulu-Natal,” Hamid confided during an interview with The New Age.
Currently there are three such academies in KwaZulu-Natal.
Asked why, while other private companies are not willing to partner with government to give skills and just create jobs in general, they decided to partner with government, Hamid said this is part of helping the previous disadvantaged communities to grasp the modern era technologies.
“This is a win-win situation for all of us. We will benefit later and so will government and the people, hence the partnership.”
The same sentiment of the country’s problem requiring a joint onslaught by government and the private sector to be eradicated, more especially in the ICT sector, was shared by EOH, an ICT Company, CEO Asher Bobhot during the opening night of a conference.
By Sihle Mavuso on The New Age.