14 August 2019 | Story Valentino Ndaba | Photo Valentino Ndaba
Kovsies Care
Nelson Mandela once said: “No country can really develop unless its citizens are educated.”

To thrive in the future, employees need a skill set and mindset that constantly adapts to the fast rate of change. In line with the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the University of the Free State (UFS) is the first higher education institution to introduce online adult learning.

Digitised learning

Eva Stinani is one of 17 staff members who is currently enrolled for the Adult-Based Education and Training (ABET) Programme through the Department of Human Resources (HR). For Stinani, the programme is gearing her up for better career prospects. “I have come to realise that obtaining a school qualification is important as this will enable me to improve my performance in my work.”

A further 29 staff members are enrolled for the Amended Senior Certificate (ASC). Since its introduction at UFS late last year, the most popular subject stream in the certificate is Business Studies. According to Juanita Burjins, Head: Leadership & Development Division (HR), this “prepares learners to think like business and management-oriented individuals”.

All lessons are conducted online in a computer lab on the Bloemfontein Campus. Plans are under way to roll out these programmes to the South and Qwaqwa campuses. The Leadership and Development Division helps learners to register with the Independent Exam Board (IEB) and uMalusi.

Enhancing livelihoods

The Integrated Transformation Plan (ITP) speaks to a staff culture punctuated with high performance and impartiality across the board. According to the ITP, “the future will be “one of excellence and diversity”.

Burjins’s team envisions “maximising the potential of the staff through the acquisition of knowledge and skills, therefore encouraging them to work productively and competitively in order to achieve an improving quality of life”.

Building bridges and breaking barriers

The online adult learning programme provides staff members with the opportunity to enter higher education institutions and become gainfully employed in the world of work.

Nelson Mandela once said: “No country can really develop unless its citizens are educated.” Echoing this sentiment, Kovsies is making strides towards developing the country, one citizen at a time.

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