mobile | classic  
Dataweek Electronics & Communications Technology Magazine


Search...

Electronics Buyers' Guide

Electronics Manufacturing & Production Handbook 2015


 

Samsung providing learners with hands-on electronics skills
26 June 2013, News

As part of its portfolio of corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, Korean electronics giant Samsung has established a trio of African academies aimed at addressing the critical technical and engineering skills shortage on the continent.

Kea Modimoeng, corporate citizenship manager at Samsung Africa, met with me at the local academy in Boksburg on Johannesburg’s East Rand to show me around and explain what it is all about.

The Samsung Electronics Engineering Academy was launched in South Africa in 2011, followed by Kenya and Nigeria the following year (with more African countries to be added in the near future), as part of the company’s broader goal to develop 10 000 service technicians and electronic engineers across the continent by 2015. The South African iteration enjoys the distinction of being the very first of its kind in the world to be launched by Samsung.

The academy provides free hands-on, vocational skills training for students in Grades 10 through 12. Upon graduating, these students find gainful employment in Samsung’s local knockdown assembly plants, technical call centres and service partners, where their hands-on product knowledge gives them the edge over those employees who are sourced from outside of the programme.

Students are taken in from technical high schools (currently eight) and Further Education and Training (FET) colleges (four) with which the academy has established partnerships in the East Rand area. Through its partnership with the National Economic Education Trust (NEET), it also opens its doors to out-of-school youth who matriculated with good maths and science grades but have been unable to find suitable jobs.

The academy’s training schedule is meticulously structured to align with each learning institution’s curriculum in such a way that it reinforces and builds on what the students are learning at their school or college at that point in time. It also provides supplementary theory material where required, as well as vital hands-on access to state-of-the-art devices to enhance learners’ understanding of modern technologies and their applications.

Outstanding performers stand an opportunity to participate in a year-long learnership opportunity at Samsung headquarters in South Korea as part of the 100 African Young Leaders Programme.

To date, 320 Grade 10–12 students have graduated from the academy – 120 in 2012 and 200 this year including 80 from the FET pilot programme with Ekurhuleni East College. Every single one of the Grade 12 graduates who was available for employment after graduation has subsequently been placed in positions at Samsung’s service centre, knockdown plant and call centre partners in Gauteng.

Each of the graduates received a certificate of completion, and those who achieved over 80% received a certificate of achievement. The top three students in each grade walked away with various Samsung gadgets. The overall top achiever with the highest marks of all the students attending the academy in 2012 was Refilwe Machaba, who achieved the same feat in 2011 – see 'Over-achiever' below.

To further its accreditation and endorsement objectives, the academy is also establishing strong ties with the University of Johannesburg (UJ), as evidenced by the fact that its 2012 and 2013 graduation ceremonies were keynoted by UJ’s Prof. Bhekisipho Twala (Professor of Robotics and Electronics) and Prof. Tshilidzi Marwala (Dean of the Faculty of Engineering) respectively.

The academy hopes to leverage its relationships with the various learning institutions it partners with, in order to establish itself as a two-way bridge via which those students whose studies are more theory-based can gain hands-on training, while at the same time offering those with a more hands-on background a route of progression towards a career in electronic design engineering.

Trainers at the academy are full-time Samsung employees with university level academic backgrounds in light-current electronics and computer systems, and equipped with Assessor accreditation. Being owned by of one of the planet’s hottest technology brands means that these trainers can take advantage of cutting-edge electronic teaching aids in their lessons.

These include large-screen, touch-enabled monitors as well as a soon-to-be-installed interactive LCD display E-board system that will allow instructors to not only push information to each student’s wirelessly connected tablet computer screen, but also to pull data from any of the tablets to e.g. show the rest of the class what one particular student is working on.

Although he asserted that Samsung has no firm plans to start a South African manufacturing operation, Modimoeng did hint that such a possibility is not out of the question: “It is important as a market-leading global technology organisation that Samsung strives to align its CSR policy with its business objectives,” he said.

“For this reason, it is vital for us to have a pool of skilled workers for our technical call centres and knockdown assembly plants. This also serves our long-term vision of perhaps one day having local manufacturing capabilities; we see a need to invest now to keep ahead of the curve, so that when the time comes we have the practical skills necessary,” he concluded.

Over-achiever

Refilwe Machaba.
Refilwe Machaba.

For the last two years, Refilwe Machaba has been the Samsung Electronics Engineering Academy’s top achiever. Currently in Matric at Katlehong Technical Secondary School, he lives with his unemployed mother and two younger sisters in Katlehong Dikole. At school, he excels in physics and maths and, as has been shown by his performance at the academy, he clearly has an aptitude for electronics as well. “I was thinking of studying actuarial science and becoming a financial advisor at Samsung,” he says. “But now I am torn, because I am fascinated with electronics as well.”

Machaba says that the biggest challenge presented by the academy is balancing the commitment with the rest of his studies, but he says that this is good practice for his university studies. “It is very important to me to study further,” he says. “I want to be able to stand on my own two feet and to look after my family. I hope my sisters look up to me.”

In recognition of his achievements, Machaba was awarded a television at the 2011 academy graduation, and at the 2012 graduation he received a washing machine. “It has been really cool – I am starting to fill the house with furniture,” he says. “I am not even working yet and I can already show my family how I will provide for them.”

Samsung’s African CSR projects at a glance

In addition to the Electronics Engineering Academy, Samsung has a number of other initiatives under its CSR umbrella:

Solar-powered Internet school

Launched in October 2011, this world-first is an exclusively solar-powered, mobile and completely independent classroom geared at increasing accessibility to education and connectivity across Africa. It is designed particularly for use in remote rural areas with limited or no access to electricity.

Housed in a repurposed shipping container and capable of operating for 9 hours a day, the school accommodates 21 learners and is equipped with notebooks, netbooks and tablets with Internet access.

Solar-powered health centre

Launched in March 2013, this is a mobile solution that provides a range of eye, ear, blood and dental medical services to people in rural areas. Samsung believes that this initiative complements its work in the education sector because healthcare plays such an important role in ensuring children perform at their best in the classroom. The company has set itself the goal of reaching one million people through its solar-powered health centres by 2015.

Solar-powered generator

This aims to provide an affordable and reliable power solution to classrooms that do not have access to a stable supply of electricity. Each generator can provide a classroom with enough power for 30 laptops, an E-board, a multifunction printer, lab LED lights, an IP camera and other peripheral devices. The solar panels that are used on the generator cannot be affected by humidity or hail.

E-learning centres and Samsung Smart Schools

Samsung has equipped several schools across Africa with a range of products to transform classrooms into world-class E-learning centres, and have rolled out eight Samsung Smart Schools in Africa, ensuring that students have the tools to become players in driving Africa’s competitiveness.


Credit(s)
Supplied By: Technews Publishing
Tel: +27 11 543 5800
Fax: +27 11 787 8052
Email: malckey@technews.co.za
www: www.technews.co.za
       

Further reading:

  • Electronics news digest
    22 July 2015, News, Electronic News Digest
    South Africa • Four learners from schools in four provinces are off to attend the London International Youth Science Forum starting 22 July, after coming out tops in the prestigious National Science ...
  • From the editor’s desk: Future uncertain, but certainly slight
    22 July 2015, Technews Publishing, News
    I’m inclined to worry. I worry a lot, about all sorts of things - sometimes I worry that I worry too much. I was particularly worried after attending a technical seminar recently.
  • Engineering students win limited edition Raspberry Pis
    22 July 2015, News
    After designing and constructing Autonomous Robotic Vehicles (ARVs) as part of the practical component of the microcontroller module, the students participated in a racing event.
  • Thousand-fold accuracy boost coming to SA time reference
    22 July 2015, News
    SKA South Africa signed a memorandum of understanding with NMISA that will see its time reference accuracy narrowed from 5000 nanoseconds to just 4 nanoseconds.
  • Mouser busts myths on future of home and factory automation
    22 July 2015, News
    Mouser Electronics is teaming up with celebrity engineer and MythBusters alumnus Grant Imahara, and a group of visionaries in the home and factory automation industry including Insteon, AiroCorp, TE Connectivity ...
  • New report explores PCB technology trends
    22 July 2015, News
    The 2014 edition of IPC’s biennial ‘PCB Technology Trends’ study has been published and is now available. The survey-based study shows how global printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturers are meeting ...
  • Record attendance at international photonics expo
    22 July 2015, News
    Messe München’s decision to expand this year’s LASER World of Photonics expo to a fifth hall paid dividends as the show enjoyed a roughly 10% increase in both exhibitor and visitor numbers. Showcased ...
  • Electronics news digest
    1 July 2015, News
    South Africa • Fibre-optic test equipment specialist Kingfisher International has signed a South African distribution agreement with Barlow Communications. Kingfisher manufactures a range of products ...
  • Altech Node drags Altron into quarterly loss
    1 July 2015, News
    A R60 million loss has prompted Robert Venter to make some tough decisions about restructuring the company.
  • DTI minister attends official ZYTEQ factory launch
    1 July 2015, ZYTEQ Technologies, Manufacturing / Production Technology, Hardware & Services, News, This Week's Editor's Pick
    ZYTEQ has invested in state of the art electronic assembly equipment and is able to offer a full range of assembly services.
  • Three new SA inventions ready for takeoff
    1 July 2015, News
    The DTI’s Aerospace Industry Support Initiative is helping local aerospace technologies get off the ground.
  • Acquisition boosts Actum’s industrial credentials
    1 July 2015, Actum Electronics, News
    The addition of Dowson & Dobson Industrial forms part of a long-term strategy to tackle two distinct markets.

 
 
         
Contact:
Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd
1st Floor, Stabilitas House
265 Kent Ave, Randburg, 2194
South Africa
Publications by Technews
Dataweek Electronics & Communications Technology
Electronic Buyers Guide (EBG)

Hi-Tech Security Solutions
Hi-Tech Security Business Directory

Motion Control in Southern Africa
Motion Control Buyers’ Guide (MCBG)

South African Instrumentation & Control
South African Instrumentation & Control Buyers’ Guide (IBG)
Other
Terms & conditions of use, including privacy policy
PAIA Manual





 

         
    Classic | Mobile

Copyright © Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved.