The Samsung Electronics Engineering Academy’s first class of Grade 12 students graduated last week, at a ceremony held at the Alberton Civic Centre, in Boksburg.
Unveiled in March last year, the Academy is part of Samsung’s vision to fast-track the entry of African youths into the electronics job market, with a short-term goal to develop 10 000 electronics engineers across the continent by 2015.
Bhekisipho Twala, professor of artificial intelligence and statistical science at the University of Johannesburg’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Electronic Engineering Science, addressed students and guests, commending Samsung’s efforts to drive excellence in the field of engineering.
“SA needs more well-qualified matriculants, particularly in the fields of maths, science and engineering, which are subjects essential to so many jobs that are critical to the country’s competitiveness on a global scale. By addressing this demand, Samsung is investing in future innovation on the continent.”
Each graduate received a certificate of completion, and certificates of achievement were presented to all graduates who achieved over 80%. The Academy’s top three achievers in each grade were awarded Galaxy Tabs, while Grade 10 pupil, Refiloe Machaba, walked away with a Samsung Galaxy Tab and a 32-inch LED TV as the overall top achiever for 2011.
The Samsung Electronics Engineering Academy provides hands-on, vocational skills training at no cost to 120 Grade 10 to 12 students from four technical high schools in the Ekurhuleni municipality – Katlehong Technical High School, Fumana Secondary School, Landulwazi Secondary School and Vosloorus Comprehensive School.
In addition to ensuring that the continent develops an adequate pool of engineering skills, the Academy will provide learners with job opportunities.
The graduates will now be placed in positions at Samsung’s service centre, knockdown plant and call centre partners in Gauteng.
“As we expand into Africa, we are striving to not only act ethically, but also to positively impact the communities where our consumers live,” says CEO and president of Samsung Electronics Africa, KK Park.
Students go through a year’s programme comprising basic, intermediate and advanced engineering skills, aligned to their set curriculum at school. Samsung works closely with the electrical technology facilitator in the district so that the Academy does not only supplement the school curriculum, but also introduces students to industry-appropriate skills, tools and equipment.
The graduation ceremony also marks the end of the pilot phase for the Academy’s programme. The company says the programme will be scaled to several other African countries in the next few years.
Source: IT Web.Co – 2 Feb 2012