Libraries collaborate with Google SA to empower a digitally-skilled Joburg

The City of Johannesburg Library and Information Services (LIS) department announced its collaboration with Google South Africa to provide free online training in digital and entrepreneurial skills programmes in 12 of its eLearning classrooms situated in libraries across the city.

MMC for Community Development, Nonhlanhla Sifumba said the department greatly embraces this opportunity since it will be a game changer to the narrative of how the communities acknowledge the changing role of libraries.

“As a city, we welcome the collaboration as it will improve skills in our youth, particularly youths from the previously forgotten communities.”

Sifumba said seeing that the city currently has a 25 per cent unemployment rate, of which 31,4 percent are youths between the ages of 16 and 35, it needs to implement programmes that target the youth.

“The programmes need to ensure that they are equipped with tools that are relevant for today’s society. This will go a long way in contributing towards the priority of growing the economy of the city to five percent by 2021,” she said.

The course contents will be accessed by registering to be a student at the centres through an eLearning portal: “Coj-ELearning” – or online via www.cojelearning.org.za where students can access the content beyond library operational hours.

The programmes will be self-paced, done in groups or individually with the support of trained facilitators in the eClassroom facilities.

For every course completed, Google will issue endorsed certificates that can be added to the students’ qualifications or courses completed.

The 12 e-Learning classrooms are at Diepsloot, Ivory Park, Westbury, Cosmo City, Jabavu, Emdeni, Sandton, Alexandra, Poortjie, Eldorado, Orange Farm and the Joburg City libraries.

The eLearning portal will also be available to all City of Johannesburg staff, Sifumba said.

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