Community centre runs open source ICDL
The Mogalakwena HP i-community in South Africa\’s Limpopo province is one of the first training centres worldwide to offer an open source software version of the International Computer Driving Licence(ICDL).
The ICDL is recognised internationally as a benchmark of end-user computer skills.
There is a unique quality to the HP i-community certification in that it is the only one in Africa which is centred purely on open source software, says Imraan Jassat, head of capacity building at the project. \”We are delivering on an overwhelming demand from those 3000 individuals who have already gone through the HP i-community open source software training, for an internationally recognised certification. Specifically, they are certified on their knowledge and capabilities in open source software, such as OpenOffice and other tools and applications.\”
Ninety-eight percent of the trainers at the HP i-community have already passed the ICDL foundation examination and achieved certification.
The ICDL foundation course certifies that the holder is fully competent in the use of a personal computer and common computer applications and knows the essential concepts of IT. The syllabus is designed to be entirely vendor-independent which gives candidates the flexibility to acquire core skills that are suitable to a range of software environments.
The ICDL is a test of practical skills and competencies and consists of seven separate modules covering computer theory and practice. Module One is a theoretical test of computing knowledge at a general level and Modules Two to Seven test skills covering such topics as concepts of information technology (IT), using a computer and managing files, word processing, spreadsheets, database, presentation and information and communication.
These tests can be attempted in any order and at any time and must be successfully completed within a maximum duration of three years. A skills card is issued documenting the results of the tests, and when all seven modules are successfully completed, the skills card is sent to the national ICDL licensee and a personalised certificate is issued.
\”We have always known that certification would be a logical part of the skills transfer process, but we have been on the lookout for the appropriate certification. Though the ICDL gives us what we need for international recognition of those skills, we still need to find the appropriate level within it for the HP i-community, because it is so rich and diverse. Of course one of the key advantages to certification on open source software is that people can learn an application that is freely available, is in line with international standards, and most importantly, copies can be distributed without fear of breaking copyright laws,\” says Jassat.