Capacity building in ecological informatics: Lessons from the DST/CSIR learnership programme in South Africa

Rudzani Albert Makhado, Martie J van Deventer, Laurie Barwell, Althea M.L. Adey, Richard Knight, Jansie Niehaus


This paper provides the lessons learned from an attempt by the South African Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to develop a National Information Society Learnership in Ecological Informatics (NISL: EI). Ten unemployed graduates were selected in 2004 to be part of two years NISL: EI learnership programme. The results show that the programme had succeeded in making candidates employable, with 90 percent of the learners working in different science and technology sectors, and two Honours degrees having been awarded. Challenges for higher level learnership development and implementation are identified and possible solutions are discussed.


ecological informatics, learnerships, skills development, science and technology, e-learning

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