Not to give away my age but computer literacy when I was growing up was a bit of a joke as it dealt with painfully simple tasks such as operating a mouse or keyboard.

Thankfully, education regarding technology has become miles better and its thanks to firms like T-Systems South Africa and its ICT Academy.

The initiative was started in 2003 and has since been adapted to appeal to high school learners. As many as 91 learners from Springs Girls High School, Springs Boys High School and Protea High School completed a course at the academy this week.

The course dealt primarily with cybersecurity but also taught learners a bit of programming over three days from 3rd to 5th December at the T-Systems ICT Academy in Johannesburg.

“Cyber security and programming are two fundamental aspects of a digital world, and we believe they are therefore critical life skills. Everything is becoming software-based, so skills in programming are essential for a wide variety of career paths. Similarly, cyber safety and security are important not only for IT professionals but for everyone who uses an online device,” explains T-Systems ICT Academy manager, Marcus Karuppan.

“Part of the course covers how to protect your information and identity online, as well as how to cope with and defend yourself from cyber bullying. We are giving these learners a basic grounding in necessary digital skills that prepares them for a career in IT in the future,” the manager added.

In addition to the learners, T-Systems will provide training for six teachers from the three schools. On top of this 25 teachers from Katlehong Primary School will receive training.

That training is presented in partnership with CompTIA. It includes basic computer skills such as the Productivity Programs, and also cybersecurity and an introduction to programming in support and correlation to the learners.

The teachers will also be given a voucher to complete the international IT Fundamentals exam in February 2020, as well as preparation and a course refresher to help equip them for the exam.

“Our aim is to build South Africa as a nation by upskilling students exposing them to technology life skills at an early stage. While future employability is an important goal, our programs go beyond simply teaching children how to code. Through various initiatives we are providing opportunities for learners to not only improve their skills but also experience life in the workplace early on and understand what career paths are open to them,” concluded organisational change consultant at T-Systems, Shirley Vrnjas.