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Archive for the ‘South Africa’ Category

Learn New Skills

Monday, October 13th, 2008

It’s been a crazy few months between banks and stock markets and the big recession that is slowly gripping the world.  In an atmosphere like this it is up to everyone to improve their employability and career prospects by learning new skills and upskilling.  You don’t need to wait until your employer arranges this or even leave it so late that your social welfare officer arranges it.  Take the initiative and seek out the training that can make a difference for you.  If you want to keep up with the times, your old skills must be continually sharpened and new ones must be acquired.

Always keep in mind the following:

  • There is no such thing as “Finished Learning.” One who stops learning, stops growing.  Work hard towards sharpening your Foundation and Transferable skills.  It pays to spend some time sharpening your axe before attempting to fell a tree.
  • Keep an eye open for new skills and master them. At the same time, improve the ones you already have.
  • Do some research to find out what skills are and will always be most valued in your industry.  Two sites that may help you here are ‘A Career Guide to Industries’ and ‘Tomorrow’s Jobs’.

Issues that people typically have include the following:

What can I do? – You can do whatever you want to. Right from cooking to eating, you will find information pertaining to any interest that you may have.

Where to look? – Keep your eyes and ears open. There’ll always be something happening in your locality to match your interest.

Universities/Colleges: – Usually, universities and colleges have clubs, societies and student groups which bring together students with similar interests. You can be sure to fit into at least one of them and learn from those who have more experience than you and build networks.

Leisure Centers & Gyms: – These are places where you will find people who like physical activity like hiking, swimming and traveling.

Evening Classes: – Collect details of all evening courses conducted in your area. Learn a language you don’t know, or get trained to do creative things like sewing or origami.

Volunteering: – Though not as glamorous as a lot of other things, the feel-good factor is immensely high! Giving something back to society is an amazing way to boost your morale. And of course, it looks impressive on your CV too and can be used to reinforce your skills and validate new ones.

Distance and Online Learning: – If you prefer to spend more time at home and if that’s the only hindrance you are facing to learning new skills, this is perfect for you. Learn Skills is one of the places where you can start hunting for relevant information about courses and as for online courses, it is the best place to start looking for what you want with a very comprehensive range of courses that cover both skills and compliance based training.  If you have any specific needs you can contact Learn Skills.

Source: CvTips.com article “Learn New Skills”.

Online skills reduce student drop-out rate in South Africa

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

South Africa- 4th June, 2008 – South Africa’s drop-out rate from tertiary institutions is alarmingly high, with almost 50% of all students entering the tertiary education system not completing their studies. This costs the country billions in cash.

One reason cited by an HSRC study is that students are not equipped with the correct study tools in order to cope with the academic work load in the first years of their degrees.  An online study skills programme, designed to meet the needs of South African students, is one way to equip students with the tools needed to cope with a demanding study regime.
Named Masifunde, after the isiXhosa phrase “let us learn”, the study skills programme is a response to the challenges that students face in South Africa, such as the lack of study know-how due to deficient preparation at high school level and high pressure to get a job whilst studying at the same time. In fact the HSRC Student Pathways Study, conducted from 2002-2004, found that “many of those who dropped out had worked to augment their meagre financial resources, no doubt adding to their stress levels”.
Using a study skills programme developed by the Oxford University Department for Continued Education as a base for the South African version, TSiBA and Oxford University worked together to form Masifunde.   Tristram Wyatt of Oxford University has been involved in the development process for the programme in South Africa. “The programme is locally adaptable, concentrating on not-for-profit organisations to use with their students,” he says.  “It’s aim is to arm students with coping tools like good study skills in order to alleviate some of the challenges they are faced with in the quest to qualify with a tertiary education.”
Oxford University and TSiBA Education, a non-profit, free-to-student university were a perfect match to launch this project.  “TSiBA’s strong ethos of helping others fitted well with our own intention of reaching out and helping students,” adds Wyatt.  Like any university, TSiBA struggles to retain students because of the socio-economic circumstances in the country and therefore understands the importance of developing a course that will help its students to cope with the workload.
“By offering this course free to other institutions to use with their students, TSiBA’s philosophy of, `pay it forward’ is mirrored well in this programme” says Leigh Meinert., MD of TSiBA.  “We have been brainstorming a suitable structure for the programme since last year to ensure that it is accessible. By bringing in our own students to tell us what it is they need to get out of the study skills programme, we have been able to set a realistic programme that answers the needs of the students,” says Meinert.

Source: IT-Online