10 August 2022

Supplied by Triple E Training

Adult basic education and training (ABET) is a starting point in a lifelong journey for many individuals. A case in point is 31-year-old Charles Kachuma who is now studying for a Bachelor of Laws Degree while working as a Weaver for GKD Africa, a leading manufacturer and supplier of filtration, screening media and equipment, as well as architectural meshes in Africa.

Kachuma is one of many employees who have participated in GKD Africa’s ABET programmes. Provided by Triple E Training, these ABET programmes are geared at equipping employees with the basic English literacy and numeracy skills that they need to perform their jobs to the best of their ability, while also growing and developing as individuals outside the workplace. This is considering that English literacy and numeracy are the absolute basic skills that individuals need to function effectively in all aspects of life.

While most employees participate in the programme to complete their basic education, Kachuma wanted to refine his existing English literacy and numeracy skills. He has always been an astute learner and had, therefore, completed his basic education. However, he knew that participating in GKD Africa’s ABET programme would enable him to bridge the significant gap that exists between the English literacy and numeracy skills taught at school and those actually required in the modern workplace. This would enable him to significantly improve his performance at the company as one of GKD Africa’s top performers.

Kachuma has always been very ambitious and self-motivated. These are traits that have helped him to excel in his career at GKD Africa. “I have always been driven to succeed. When I left school, I had to start working as a petrol attendant to help sustain myself. However, I never became discouraged and knew that an opportunity to improve my circumstances would eventually become available because I am a very hard and diligent worker. When I heard that GKD Africa was looking for a general factory worker from a friend who was employed at the company, I lunged at the opportunity and have since never looked back. I have been with the company for seven years now and know that there is still a lot of scope to grow and develop as part this winning team before I complete my degree and start working as a lawyer,” Kachuma says.

He also participated in the company’s ABET programme because he wanted to lay a solid foundation for further learning and better prepare himself for tertiary education. Kachuma is also now completing Triple E Training’s Rapid Effective Accelerated Life Long Learning (REALL) programme to further hone his English literacy and numeracy skills. REALL helps to significantly accelerate the development of employees’ English and numeracy skills by streamlining content. Employees are able to complete English literacy and numeracy at National Qualifications Framework Levels 2 through to 4 in only 160 hours per subject.

Many employees who have completed Triple E Training’s REALL programme study for a university degree.

Kachuma gained his passion for learning from his late father, Wilson, who worked at Randfontein Estates Gold Mine as a payroll officer. “My father was a great inspiration to me and my brothers. He loved to read books and he would find time to share what he was reading with his family. He was exceptionally proud of his mini library consisting of many books that he had collected over the years. One of his favourite books in this collection was The Complete Works of Shakespeare,” he says.

Kachuma’s three brothers were also just as inspired by their father to keep on learning. His eldest brother is a qualified Landscape Architect who runs a successful landscaping company in Cape Town. The second born is a qualified IT technician who works for South African National Blood Service and the third born is studying to become an Electrical Engineer. He is the last born in the family.

While he always wanted to study for a degree, it took time for Kachuma to decide that he wanted to become a lawyer. He made this decision on Human Rights Day. He was inspired by the fact that he was born on the very day that all South Africans celebrate the basic human rights that we enjoy today. He also remains inspired by struggle icons who were also lawyers, such as Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo and George Bizos.

GKD Africa remains committed to ABET for its employees as is demonstrated by the new learning centre that the company developed at its factory in Randfontein, Gauteng. It provides a more conducive environment for learning and will, therefore, entice more employees to participate in ABET.

Nathaline Odelusi, Triple E Training’s Quality Assurance Manager, says that the company remains proud of its long association with GKD Africa. “Through its ABET programmes, GKD Africa is showing that it is committed to the wellbeing of its employees inside and outside the world of work. Charles is a sound example of how ABET is able to improve the lives of individuals. For me, the ultimate outcome of any successful ABET programme is when it has placed participants firmly on a path to achieve their personal goals so that they can participate meaningfully in and make a substantial contribution to the economy, their communities and society at large,” she concludes.

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