Grade nine and 10 students from Soweto had the opportunity to explore and learn about the options they have for their future careers, at an event hosted by Wits Masters students on Saturday at Morris Isaacson High School.
The Masters in Development Theory and Policy students, part of the non-profit organisation, Rethink Africa tried to “express the broadness of the choices” available to students. “Normally people are told you can either be an accountant, engineer or physicist but there are other careers that people never get a taste of,” said Ayabonga Cawe.
Cawe said one of the most important things is to share information not accessible to students of Soweto. “One of the biggest challenges is that most people don’t see themselves going to university. They don’t have resources to get there and don’t have role models in their social network who have been to university and done it so successfully,” he said.
Us coming up here and actually giving career advice and informing them of ways to finance their studies is very useful in them planning ahead.
The purpose of the day’s event was to “empower young people in local communities, specifically in the underprivileged areas,” said one of the organisers, Nompumelelo Melaphi.
The event in partnership with the School of Economics and Business Sciences (SEBS) had up to 135 high school students from Emshukantambo, Morris Isaacson, Immaculate and Reasoma in attendance. Rethink Africa identified that students from these areas were in need of information regarding their career options, according to Melaphi.
This is the second year the event has taken place and there are hopes to expand it to the Eastern Cape and other provinces, according to Masters student Gillian Chigumira. She explained that part of acting as students in policy is to come to schools and inform students how they can advance to university. “We know there is stumbling blocks and bottlenecks in the middle … We are here to dissect that and tell them the very steps from applying and what they can go through.”
Masters student Siya Biniza said it was important to host the event as the students were entering the most “decisive year of their high school career.”
“Us coming up here and actually giving career advice and informing them of ways to finance their studies is very useful in them planning ahead.”
Students were encouraged to study in all fields, including science, arts and commerce. Economists, doctors and forensic anthropologists were some of the speakers.
Head of School Prof. Jannie Rossouw told Wits Vuvuzela it was a good project to target grade nine students “to help them make informed choices about subjects to take in grade 10 and help gain entry in courses they want to study.”
This article was featured in the Wits Vuvuzela