Adult education key to getting economy back on track
As South Africans face the now extended lockdown period, currently in place to try to slow down the rate of infection from the Covid-19 pandemic, many people are starting to shift their focus of concern from health worries to fears around the economy.
Triple E Training, a provider of adult training solutions to organisations and communities, is looking ahead to the days when the lockdown will be, if not completely over, then at least less stringent and with some of the restrictions on business and economic activity at least partially lifted.
Marinda Clack, executive marketer at Triple E Training, says: “Many people are anticipating that the lockdown will be lifted in a phased approach that would still involve people needing to practise social distancing and faultless public hygiene measures. Under such conditions, our company would easily be able to play its part in facilitating Adult Education and Training (AET) programmes in the workplace with the appropriate precautions around the Covid-19 threat.
“Our programmes can certainly accommodate the required social distancing requirements to get people learning again as soon as is allowed, including the wearing of masks and sanitising of hands, amongst other measures. We believe that the re-commencement of interactive AET programmes for employees with low literacy levels has a critical role to play in helping to get the economy back on track.”
Clack agrees with the general public consensus that, from the moment the pandemic finally arrived in South Africa, President Ramaphosa was faced with the twin dilemmas of managing the health crisis as well as the contracting economy.
“We applaud him for his strong, decisive measures in tackling the health aspects of the pandemic,” she says, “while acknowledging that the damage to the economy is unfortunately inevitable. We must remember that the knock-on effects of decisions made at government and corporate levels are felt by individuals and their families. This goes for restrictions made because of the pandemic as well as, more positively, actions and decisions taken in the interests of kick-starting the economy once more.
“We therefore add our voice to those calling for the government to fast-track structural reforms and make real inroads in turning around the economy, and we remind people that AET programmes provided by organisations for their functionally illiterate employees will play a key role here.”
Clack says organisations have both a moral as well as a legislative requirement to turn their companies into places of learning for these disempowered employees, explaining, “When we are through the lockdown and into a more normal situation around the country once more, we expect that the Employment Equity Amendment Bill of 2020 – which was put before Parliament earlier this year, some weeks before this period was enforced – will finally be effected.
“The amendment to the Bill means that organisations will be required by law to assist in educating those of their employees who qualify. Employers can enable adult basic education of these employees by implementing or introducing skills development, bursaries, learnerships or internships, or of course a combination of these.”
“At Triple E Training, we know that focused education and training has the power to uplift and empower individuals in the workplace and, in turn, their families, their communities and ultimately, over time, the country. It provides a message of hope when it is sorely needed,” she concludes.
Source: IT Online at https://it-online.co.za/2020/04/19/adult-education-key-to-getting-economy-back-on-track/