T-Systems’ High School Digital Awareness Holiday Programme Bolsters Education in Cyber Security

• T-Systems ICT Academy hosted its’ first Digital Awareness Programme, focusing on cyber security
• 50 high school learners from various institutions participate in the free, three-day course
• The course introduced coding concepts as a tester for future programmes on coding and application development

Recently, the MEC of Education and Youth Development in Gauteng, Panyaza Lesufi made mention that learners should acquire multiple certificates by the time they leave high school. Further to this, the MEC explained that with the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) upon us, education in technology should be highest on the agenda of upskilling the youth.

As a result, T-Systems South Africa, launched its T-Systems Digital Awareness Holiday Programme on the 25th of June 2019, inviting 50 high school learners from various institutions to participate in the free, three-day course. Hosted at T-Systems’ ICT Academy in Johannesburg the programme aims to introduce learners to the world of Information Technology but more importantly equip them with much needed skills for the future. This year’s course dealt with the pressing issue of cyber security.

“As part of our Nation Building initiative and in line with driving economic empowerment through skills development, we thought would be beneficial to host a programme that would better prepare and expose learners to the digital age,” says Marcus Karuppan, T-Systems ICT Academy Manager.

“There is a great need for cyber security specialists in South Africa, however, the current skills do not match the demand. This is why we chose to launch our programme with a focus on security. If T-Systems can spark the interest of these learners and upskill them to get ahead in their studies, then this could have a profound impact on our country’s technological future.”

With the exponential growth of networked connections leaving data more vulnerable to attacks, the programme kicked off with an overview of ‘how to be safe online’. This was followed by training on five focal points namely – the need for cybersecurity; attacks, concepts and techniques; protecting your data and privacy; protecting the organisation and concluding with a module on ‘Will your future be in cyber security?’.

Grade 11 learner, Mihle Kgalemone from Maryvale College in Johannesburg, participated in the holiday programme and adds, “We have learnt a tremendous amount about cyber security, the threats we may face as well as ways in which to protect devices. T-Systems has not only been able to impart knowledge on the how to keep my information safe online, but the programme has left me with a passion for IT.”

The course also introduced coding concepts as a tester for future programmes on coding and application development. Moreover, it addressed soft skills and learners were provided with training on building confidence as well as offered career guidance on opportunities available in the ICT industry. Curricula such as the T-Systems Digital Awareness Holiday Programme have been created to enable and prepare learners by teaching basic skills that will kickstart their career in technology.

Head of the T-Systems Nation Building Initiative, Shirley Vmjas concludes, “We are considering developing this programme even further and plan to partner with various schools, community centres and hopefully the Department of Education in the future. Our ICT Academy will ensure that our youth becomes participants in the Fourth Industrial Revolution by giving them the knowledge, skills and understanding required for tomorrow.”