By Charles Tjatindi
A computer-training project run by the Walvis Bay Multi Purpose Centre Trust (WBMPC Trust) and sponsored by Nedbank Namibia continues to bear fruits for its community.
The training, which was initiated in 2002 with only six students, has to date managed to train over 1 000 students.
The students, most of whom emerge from low-income earning families, get training in various computer programmes such as Microsoft word, Microsoft Excel, Internet and E-mail, amongst others.
Last Friday saw another 80 students graduating from this programme, after completing 20 sessions spread over a two-month period. Officiating at the event on behalf of Walvis Bay mayor Derek Klazen, his personal assistant Leevy-Lee Abrahams emphasized the importance of such training in an ever- changing society.
Abrahams noted that as the world moves towards technology advancement, people around the globe are devising mechanisms that would make them work smarter as compared to the conventional belief of simply working harder. It is therefore vital, he said, that Namibians attain such expertise in keeping with global trends.
“We need IT experts in Namibia. To attain our developmental goals, Namibia needs people of various expertise and experience, and IT is definitely one such vital area where skills are needed. This may just be the beginning of a long road ahead to attain full IT certification, but it is also a very important step. The rest is now up to you,” he said.
Alex Ndjandji, one of the course facilitators at the WBMPC Trust, noted that the computer training has assisted a lot of job seekers from Walvis Bay, most notably young people, to gain the necessary entry level insight into computer operations.
“When we started we had six students working on two computers. Now five years later, we have 80 students working on 10 computers. I am proud to say that with computers which were sponsored three years ago, we have managed to train over 1 000 students over the past four years. This really shows the interest of the community in the training programme,” said Ndjandji.
Due to the overwhelming demand, the centre has now extended the computer training to include evening sessions, to allow full-time workers the opportunity to benefit from the initiative.
Ndjandji urged recently graduated students to use their newly acquired skills to their own advancement and that of their respective communities. Noting that a computer is one of the greatest tools ever created, he said graduates should feel proud of not only mastering such a great tool, but should take pride in having added a new skill that would open new doors for them in future.
The second computer training intake for 2008 has already commenced, and all places have been filled, highlighting the vitality of the training programme to its communities. Graduates leave the training with a detailed course handbook, scripted by the centre’s three facilitators, all for a nominal registration fee of N$320.
Other than Nedbank, Tunacor Namibia also came on board and financially aided the initiative.