Website gearing for Kasi growth

2015-10-15 06:00

WordPress user friendly features used to build successful community-based education sites.

Just like its super easy, but also super efficient, website-building coding index, a WordPress-built education website is getting ahead of its time in the Western Cape.

Since it first went up online a few years ago, Stellenbosch’s social improvement initiative KayaLabs project has successfully taught web coding to dozens of primary school pupils.

It has also helped a number undergraduate IT students who enrolled onto the site’s on-the-net training programmes, get ahead.

Built by qualified but largely self-taught former university head technologist Wesley Diphoko, the project has beaten the odds by growing into a multi-township organisation specialising in introducing strategised internet use, website building and software programming to dozens of Cape Town’s new generation internet users.

The project has gained so much momentum from using the WordPress tools that World Design Capital 2014 organisers accepted it one of its official innovative design projects.

It also seeks to enable participants to learn and develop their own communities based on challenges they face.

Diphoko believes using WordPress may help in bridging the digital devide mainly through sharing information via web-enabled devices - smartphones, tablets, laptops and even old computers - as well as infornation on downloadable ready-made software packages like Layers by Obox are what catches his eye.

A lot of township youngsters continue to snap up the opportunity to join KayaLabs, and many among them count as artists, aspiring business owners and good-old tech maestros who hope to create a web environment that exposes technological development in Africa.

Unlike traditional education institutions, KayaLabs does not run out of joining space for its online programmes.

Participants in the project are equipped through onlinwe tools and run their own websites.

Former participants Zumkile James and David Marais previously faced unemployment, but now work as IT business analysts at Pick ‘n Pay and Old Mutual respectively.

Buntu Sithole joined KayaLabs in 2013. But he is now in the process of starting his own business, involving ICT certification and app development.

KayaLabs aspires to become an agent of change when it comes to popularising efficient internet use.

Diphoko also hopes to get closer to his goal of developing software that will suit the interest of many South Africans.

“South Africa does not yet have a true representatove bpdy that advances the software community’s interests,” Diphoko writes on his website.

The technologist’s aims to remedy this, for the meanwhile, by developing an understanding of software development to create easy access to business, markets and education for young job-hunters and aspiring community social workers.

He also plans to keep a mindful update on the world of software and app creation to parrallel the scope of internet availability in township and rural neighbourhoods.

This is were wireless connection is starting to take ground in public spaces such as schools, taxi ranks and mini shopping centres.

KayaLabs now plans to take in hundreds more participants into its projects

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