Bridging the Digital Gap: How One IT Student is Now Paying it Forward

TAFE NSW student, Majd Achji is using his IT skills to pay it forward

Merrylands local Majd Achji had an interrupted education after spending his teenage years escaping Syrian conflict, but a second chance at learning through TAFE NSW has allowed him to pay it forward and help others access online education during COVID-19. 

After arriving in Australia in 2017 and completing a ‘Welcome to Australia’ course with Multicultural Youth Affairs Network NSW (MYAN NSW), Majd enrolled in a Certificate IV in IT Networking at TAFE NSW Lidcombe and has now graduated with a Diploma in IT Networking. He has since secured his first full-time job as an IT Support Officer.  

Majd also volunteers with MYAN NSW and when he heard during the COVID-19 lockdown that some students and households did not have the technology to access their education online, he wanted to put his practical IT skills to good use to help these families out. 

Thanks to MYAN NSW and Majd, a handful of donated laptops are being set up for newly arrived migrants and refugee students with Majd fixing and preparing the network drives for these students to ensure they can continue their studies at home.  

Majd said he wanted to use his skills to pay it forward given that he was in the same position only a few years earlier. 

“I was so happy to know the IT skills and knowledge I learnt in my course were directly helping these students get online to continue their learning. 

“Coming from a background where I couldn’t go to school and have learning resources at my fingertips, helping these students get online made me realise how far I have come in my education and that TAFE NSW unlocked my potential,” Majd said. 

Among the families helped by Majd is a university student who previously had to complete his assignments using his mobile phone, and a family of five children who had one computer to access schooling between them. 

According to data by Infoxchange there is still more than 2.5 million Australians who aren’t online. With increasing demand placed on the IT industry during COVID-19 as many people shift to remote working, there has never been a more important time to study an IT related course. There were around 33,000 new jobs created in networking and programming in the last three years alone.1  

MYAN NSW Youth Programs coordinator, Hannah Lai, said Majd had been a crucial IT support to their organisation. 

“Majed’s IT expertise has been crucial for newly arrived young people to feel more included and connected through technology. As a state body representing the rights and interests of young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds, MYAN NSW continues to advocate for the digital inclusion of all young people, no matter their backgrounds,” 

TAFE NSW Head Teacher of Information and Communications Technology, Phillip Lennon, said it was rewarding to see Majd use his skillset to impact so many people. 

“Majd is a shining example that the practical skills students learn at TAFE NSW can have rippling impacts on the wider community as students use their knowledge to better the lives of others,” Mr Lennon said. 

If you are ready to enrol in a TAFE NSW IT course, visit www.tafensw.com.au or call 131 601

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