After becoming accredited by Cisco to run its IT Essentials course, ORT South Africa established the IT Bridging program to bring 21st century computer knowledge to young people. Consisting of the Cisco course, instruction in Microsoft Office and coding, the program is a comprehensive overview of basic technology required for an entry-level IT position. Eighteen young adults from various backgrounds are taking part, increasing their competence in computer operations and learning skills for the competitive job market.
The students all have something in common: After completing high school, they could not fund further studies. But ORT provided an opportunity, and they feel privileged to benefit from this program. At the end of the course, they will have computer knowledge, an internationally accredited Cisco IT Essentials certificate, a Microsoft certificate and basic coding know-how.
Thenjiwe Sibiye, an ORT South Africa employee, is a beneficiary of this program. She came to ORT in 2009 for an accounting program run by the organization. Having completed an information technology track in college, Thenjiwe wanted to learn finance. She was engaged by ORT as an intern and hired six months later. Dedicated to her work, she completed the Cisco IT Essentials train-the-trainer course, where she excelled. Thenjiwe has worked extensively administering the ORT South Africa Second Chance programme, in which students can improve their maths and science aptitudes and test results, and she serves as a positive example to youth who come to ORT.
In South Africa, career guidance and training is quite limited and educational opportunities are often challenging to access, but ORT makes them readily available. It has also launched the IT Bridging program for teens at a Jewish day school, King David High Linksfield, where ten students ages 14-16 are participating.