ABDO College offers boost for South Africa
ABDO College is supporting the development of dispensing across the world as it welcomes 9 students from South Africa onto the ophthalmic dispensing course.
Optics in South Africa has been through a difficult time since a change in employment law. There is only one university in the country that offers a full time three-year diploma course in Ophthalmic Dispensing, which isn’t a route of study that’s available to all. As a result, ABDO College is delighted to have 9 students from South Africa on the FBDO (Overseas) course, to help the profession grow and develop.
This move is supported by the South African Optometric Association, which includes dispensing opticians in its membership. Jorina Lombard says, “Having only one institution in South Africa that hosts the dispensing course on a full time basis and no option for part-time studies, ABDO College has given us a platform for distance learning that means the world to our profession. We have so many people working in an optical environment who wishes to further their careers and by having the opportunity to study through the distance learning option, it enables them to do so.”
“We are absolutely thrilled about the number of students that enrolled for the first year and I am excited to say that we already have a great interest for next year as well. We are humbled and grateful for the support and effort that we received from ABDO – a special thank you to Sir Anthony Garrett of ABDO and Mr Steve Hertz of ABDO College. They absolutely went the extra mile for us.”
Like all ophthalmic dispensing students, the South African trainee DOs will complete weekly modules online, and gain hands on experience in practice. Boots Opticians (UK) has also donated a set of books for each student to help them get started. Les Thomas FBDO, Learning & Development Specialist at Boots Opticians says, “We were delighted to be approached by ABDO College to donate a number of textbooks for South African Student Dispensing Opticians to help with their development in the field of ophthalmic dispensing. We sincerely hope that our donation in collaboration with ABDO College will enable an increase in the number of qualified dispensing opticians in South Africa, so dispensing services can be expanded to a wider population of patients requiring them. At Boots Opticians, we would like to wish these students all the very best with their studies.”
South African student DO Amanda Visser says, “I am hoping to complete the ABDO Dispensing Opticians course so that I can take up frontline training again to provide knowledge to more frontline assistants in South Africa. We have such a shortage of dispensing opticians, and my aim is to empower other students to such a level of understanding , that they too will feel they want to take on the journey of becoming a dispensing optician.”
South African student DO Elmar Deysel says, “I think the course will benefit me in the long run to give me a lot more opportunities and knowledge. The course has already made me realize that there is a lot more to dispensing than just choosing frames and lenses. I would also like to use the knowledge I build up now, to help me share and assist others who is interested in dispensing.”
If you are interested in courses from ABDO College available worldwide, visit www.abdocollege.org.uk/international.