Provincial Government of the Western Cape Launches an e-Literacy Project | Western Cape Government



Provincial Government of the Western Cape Launches an e-Literacy Project

17 March 2005
On 17 March 2005, the Cape Skills e-Literacy Pilot Project was initiated with the signing of an agreement between the provincial government and, an NGO focusing on promoting the effective use of information and communications technology (ICT) in developing countries to improve people's lives.

"In its iKapa Elihlumayo strategy, the provincial government has committed itself to building human and social capital, with an emphasis on preparing the youth for employment. With this e-literacy project, we are working to address this commitment in a very practical way," comments Dr Harold Wesso, the head of the Centre for e-Innovation, the provincial government unit in charge of this project.

e-Literacy looks at the combination of computer literacy and information literacy. "This means that we aren't just looking at teaching people how to use computers; we're also teaching them how to use ICTs to access, generate and evaluate information and knowledge", says Katherine de Tolly, the project initiator. "e-Literacy is important because we live in an age where people increasingly have to have these skills in order to be able to participate in the economy."

Signing of the contract.
Katherine de Tolly and Dr Harold Wesso - Centre for e-innovation; Seated: Dr Gilbert Lawrence - Director-General, Philipp Schmidt and Edwin Blake -

If e-literacy is not addressed, the digital divide is widened: those with access and skills benefit from technology and access to information, while those without are increasingly marginalised (e.g. excluded from jobs, and from participation in government processes and public discourse on the issues that affect their lives).

The Western Cape cannot afford to ignore the imperative to equip its citizens with e-literacy skills; it faces the threat of being left further behind in the global information society if it doesn't.

The Cape Skills e-Literacy Pilot Project will focus on developing training materials and doing training at various rural Internet access points in the Western Cape. Based on lessons learnt from these initial training sessions, a strategy for a broad-based e-literacy across the province will be developed.

The training materials developed will be published as open content, which will mean that anyone can use and adapt them, be they NGOs, other governments, businesses or individuals.

For further information, contact Katherine de Tolly.

Tel: 483 5461
Cell: 083 324 4043.

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