From time to time, skills shortage in South Africa is deemed as a national crisis and one does one how the next breed of problem solvers will look like. The country is finding its feet in the 4th Industrial Revolution to create a livable and inclusive society in the smart growing world.
The ICT youth organization believes that it is by taking care of the basics that the country can achieve its digital desires. It says that there is a need to build a strong digital culture, involving everyone in the digital transformation process, accelerated service delivery in all fronts, coordinated efforts in intentful skills development, more exposure and guided innovation systems, provision of tools and being responsive/relevant to local needs.
Having been established in 2013, Geekulcha has always existed to create and enable platforms for Innovation and Creativity. It has hosted a significant number of tech events nationally but a key concern has been will, confidence and reach onto FET College students. Reasons behind this include a disbelief that they can fair up against "university students".
It is against this backdrop that Geekulcha has dedicated September as a 'Geekulcha College Month' to help college students navigate much better in the ICT sector. Previously, the organization has taken some of its tech activities including hackathons to colleges, facilitated field trips and help college students gain industrial exposure for their 'Work Integrated Learning' in marking the Geekulcha College Month.
Geekulcha believes in grooming the next leaders and captains of the industry in the ICT field and champions this through the Geekulcha Student Society (GKSS) initiative which has 23 chapters in 8 provinces.
Only 5 of these GKSS chapters are in FET colleges which Geekulcha admits is a bad representation give that over 50 registered TVET colleges in South Africa.
During its College Month, Geekulcha will focus on the following:
- Further understanding of students in FET colleges - challenges, shortfalls and prospects in fully participating in the ICT scene.
- Skills Development drive and exposure to latest shifts in the ICT sector
- Establishing more GKSS chapters especially in remote/rural TVET FET colleges to drive student Tech and Innovation on campus.
- Making use of the Hire Geeks programme to expose and enable students in FET colleges.
- Engagements with campus managers in mapping out the pipeline, developmental pathways and creation of Open Source student innovation challenges.
Furthermore, Geekulcha will use #GKCollegeMonth to down memory lane and profile the work it has done in FET Colleges to inspire possibilities. It hopes to change the perspective on FET colleges and showcase that there are talented young Geeks that need support and enablement.
Students in FET colleges are invited to get their campus 'Geekulchad' and they may indicate interest on www.geekulcha.dev/college-month