ICT staff members with learners from Hlomphanang High School.
From front left:Dr Robert Hans (HOD: Computer Science);
Prof Pius Owolawi (HOD: Computer Systems Engineering);
Dr Agnieta Pretorius (Assistant Dean: Postgraduate Studies,
Research & Innovation); Senyeki Marebane (Academic manager:
Computer Science – eMalahleni Campus); Dr Refilwe Mogase
(HOD: Informatics); Dr Topside Mathonsi (HOD: Information
Technology); Thembeka Manetje (ICT Faculty Marketer).
Attendees from industry including the Rail Manufacturing Centre of Entrepreneurship and Rapid Incubator (RMCERI), Thatha (ICT alumnus, owner and manufacturer of Shumi Phones), International Business Machines (IBM), Huawei and several other prominent companies in the tech space, had the opportunity to get up close and personal with the projects that were created by the faculty’s final year students. These companies also used the opportunity to get an in-depth understanding of the projects exhibited by the students.
At the same time, in the Student Centre, approximately eighty (80) matric learners from Hlomphanang High School who have mathematics and physical science as subjects, received first-hand information from the respective HoD’s at the Faculty about the plethora of courses that are offered, as well as the current need for jobs that require ICT-related skills and the relevancy of these skills in the future of work. They also shared the ICT Faculty’s focus on equipping its students with up-to-date skills and knowledge to ensure they are future ready graduates.
Wally Langa, TUT’s Assistant Registrar: Enrolment Management and Planning explained the University’s admission processes, policies and procedures to learners interested in enrolling at TUT.
After the presentations, the matric learners joined the industry partners as well as the final year students who were exhibiting their projects to get a glimpse of what they would learn to do if they registered at the faculty.
The initiator and coordinator of FEED, Vuyisile Memani, lecturer at the Department of Computer Science, explained why he organized the event. “The Faculty of ICT prides itself on providing relevant qualifications that empower students to have influence in society. Because of the technical skills with which they are capacitated, our graduates can make an immediate impact in the workplace or even start their own businesses. Aligned with our social responsibility to reach out to the communities in which we are located, we chose Hlomphanang to showcase our programmes and to encourage learners to choose us as a university of choice to further their studies,” he said.
“The programme of the day was executed to the letter and the school highly appreciated our hospitality as well as the HoD’s sharing the valuable information with them in person. The chairperson of Student Faculty Council, Tebogo Sako, shared her experiences as a student in the Faculty with the learners. It really excited and made them eager to become part of the ICT Faculty,” said Memani.
Mpho Mathabatha, an educator from Hlomphanang High School who accompanied the learners, thanked TUT for the invitation. “For most of our learners it was the first time to set foot in a university. Even it was only for a day, they enjoyed opportunity to experience a bit of university life tremendously. In addition, the Expo enhanced the learners’ outlook on things. The projects created and exhibited by final year students, inspired the learners and sparked an interest to join the ICT faculty, especially because they focus on solving real life problems using technology and on making a positive societal change in their communities or the world.”