Computer course offers hope to communities in southern Durban


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Through KELYN BLACKBURN Sep 10, 2019

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Durban – For the most part, the southern community of Durban which includes, Wentworth, Merebank, Lamontville and uMlazi is making headlines for generally negative publicity: high crime, gangsterism, high unemployment, poverty and drugs.

But an education program, led by Engen, who has an oil refinery built at Wentworth Gate is hoping to change that for these communities.

The Engen School of Computing has, over the past eight years, been able to teach skills to more than 2,000 people in the Durban South Basin in the hope that they can find jobs and get out of their jobs. poverty and other social ills.

Just recently, the Engen Computer School held a graduation ceremony on September 5th where 68 proud community members received certificates for completing a computer course for end users. Over the past decade, the free computer training school has transformed lives in South Durban by improving the employment prospects of graduates.

“Including our recent graduates, just over 2,000 students have graduated to date, each of them gaining the knowledge and confidence to seek out jobs that would otherwise never have been possible,” said Sheryl Casalis, Director of Training at Added Advantage Academy.

The course provides residents of South Durban with an introductory level computer training, covering eight units of the National Certificate: Information Technology, Computer Qualification for the End User.

To register, applicants must be unemployed young people leaving school and residing in the southern region of Durban. Although the enrollment and age criteria are not prescribed, most of the students who attend the school are between the ages of 20 and 40.

According to Casalis, three four-month courses are offered per year, each accommodating at least 80 people and investing around R15,000 per student to complete the course.

“The student proficiency rate is between 94% and 99% at the end of the course,” adds Casalis. “Upon graduation, they are computer literate people able to work independently using the computer programs most commonly used in offices today.”

The third course for 2019 began on August 26 and saw at least 78 participants.

Engen’s Head of Transformation and Stakeholder Engagement Unathi Magida says Engen’s data center is well known in South Durban and almost always has a waiting list of people looking to upgrade .

“Engen is both proud and honored to play a small role in the positive development of the lives of community members in southern Durban, who reside in an area where the Engen refinery is located,” said Magida .

“With poverty and unemployment in South Africa, Engen realizes that government cannot be relied on to deliver solutions alone, as such we are committed to stepping up and doing the right thing, starting by paying special attention to the people in the communities in which we operate, ”she added.

Those wishing to join the program are welcome to visit the center located on Tara Road.

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