AS a result, education has changed dramatically, with the distinctive rise of e-learning, whereby teaching is undertaken remotely and on digital platforms.
In South Africa’s starkly unequal society, all the tech innovation in the world can’t help millions of South Africans, many of them children and youth, who cannot afford the latest laptops and reliable internet connection that they need to pivot effectively to online school, or progress in their tertiary education and early career development.
This had led to The Knowledge Trust’s recent announcement, that it will be hosting the world’s first Education and Career Expo event, entirely on the WhatsApp platform.
“We quickly realised that we had to connect with, and deliver to, our members through platforms they can afford and that they are able to use every day,” says Jaryd Raizon, Country Manager of The Knowledge Trust in South Africa.
“With a 99% penetration among young South Africans, WhatsApp is the obvious platform to use, so our challenge has been how to redesign and rebuild, services and courses – and now our events – so that they work effectively for our members and partners on WhatsApp,” said Raizon.
The upcoming career expo on WhatsApp opens up the event to unemployed youth, who have little to no access to career guidance, career development opportunities, and even the basic marketing and recruitment information provided by tertiary educational institutions online.
While conventional virtual events are widely regarded as “accessible”, the realities of South Africa’s exorbitant data costs, and the tech infrastructure you need to attend, are still a significant barrier to entry. By contrast, apart from the ubiquitous use of WhatsApp among young South Africans, 89% of those surveyed by The Knowledge Trust say that they can afford WhatsApp-specific data bundles, while 97% say they would use WhatsApp to complete online courses and apply for jobs. Even prior to its launch, The Knowledge Trust Career Expo, through WhatsApp, has already notched up more than 8 000 early registrations.
“With the launch of the Career Expo on WhatsApp, and our other engagements on the platform, The Knowledge Trust is ushering a new era in the way that education institutions and employers can connect, with South Africa’s curious and promising young talent.
“It is important that we understand where our young people are at, what their roadblocks are, and use their preferred and most accessible platforms to more easily inform and educate, connect and engage,” Raizon concludes.
Registration for The Knowledge Trust Career Expo on WhatsApp is free and available at 084 030 9432 (or click here to go to WhatsApp)