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UJ ICT student gets a head start for the future of work

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Now in its sixth year, the Huawei Seeds for the Future course aims to inspire local talent, enhance knowledge sharing, promote a greater understanding of and interest in the ICT sector, and encourage participation in the digital community.

In partnership with the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT) students are exposed to the latest technologies – 5G, Cloud, AI and IoT, and are also introduced to Chinese culture and language, which aims to foster a cross cultural understanding. In this year’s curriculum, the focus was on getting students to think about how to use technology to address social and environmental issues under the Tech4Good programme.

University of Johannesburg (UJ) final year Electrical and Engineering Sciences student, Siyabonga Shandu, was one of the 12 student candidates who were part of the 2021 programme.

“I applied for it and answered questions on cloud computing, 5G and IoT. The most important thing they wanted was the academic record because this was about academic excellence. ICT technology, IoT and home automation systems can help prevent many potentially bad scenarios. I have realised that ICT and digital technology can help human beings with a lot of issues.”

Professor Peng Yi, Chinese co-director of UJ’s Confucius Institute (UJCI), said the students learn basic language skills and Chinese culture.

“We have a course at the University and it is open to all of society. For the pandemic we have had to keep the classes online which has allowed students from all parts of the continent to take part.”

The launch event was attended by Chinese Ambassador to South Africa, Chen Xiaodong, DCDT Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, Huawei SA CEO, Spawn Fan along with the 12 Seeds for the Future 2021 candidates.

Minister Ntshavheni, who is a UJ alumni, said the technologies of the future are here and that the 5G spectrum would be released soon.

“It has wide use – in mining, agriculture, manufacturing, tourism – the skills that you (students) are going to acquire with this training must be used to benefit our industries and society in general as we build sustainable communities and deliver sustainable development to our people.”

With the pace of technological advancement having accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic, empowering tomorrow’s young technology workers is important.

Students also learned problem-solving and leadership skills through teamwork and deepening their personal mission and sense of social responsibility.

The programme ran from Monday, November 15 to Monday, November 22.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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