March 2021.

More than a thousand Grade 11 and Grade 12 high school learners, in the Vryburg region, have participated in a Career Development programme, designed to provide learners who are preparing for their chosen vocation, with the necessary support tools for making improved subject choices linked to personal interests and strengths, in the key phase of high school.

Speaking on behalf of the North West Department of Education, the Naledi Sub-District Manager Fhatuwani Makhado, commended the quality and necessity of the implemented programme that took place across four schools in the District.

This career mapping roadshow, titled ‘Your Journey Awaits’, is aimed at giving learners a foundation in introspecting to define who they are, as well as career-oriented personality tests that reveal the unique components that make them thrive in certain areas. The test reported learners as having one or two of the six dominant personality types, and laid the foundation of leadership and emotional intelligence. This has helped to boost learner confidence, by offering the opportunity for self-expression, in a constructive and supportive environment.

Speaking of the impact, Principal Bruce Jansen of Colinda Secondary School said, “Our school and community has a lot of potential but we often lack support from sponsors. This programme came in at the right time, when learners were dealing with the pandemic and it gave them hope to want something better for themselves. As their Principal and leader, I must be strong for everyone but with this programme learners tend to be more focussed and curious about their life beyond Vryburg, taking some burden off me. I look forward to the programmes planned for this year.”

In addition to Colinda Secondary School, other participating schools included Bopaganang Secondary School, Pule Leeuw Secondary School and John Frylinck Secondary School. This extensive project, reached a total of 1 259 learners, comprising 686 Grade 11 and 573 Grade 12 learners.

The entire programme, which also included a ‘virtual career connect’ expo for the Grade 12 learners, which replaced the live expo due to COVID-19 protocol, has been funded by Waterloo Solar project, as part of its Socio-Economic Development programme.

“This virtual platform was designed for Grade 12 learners to access information and resources on careers and opportunities in preparation for life post high school. Learners received the Nzalo Careers publication with inspirational real-life stories and a range of supporting material. We received very positive response from a number of learners who found it insightful and inspirational, which is very encouraging,” said Celiwe Mabaso, Community Operations Manager for Waterloo Solar.

Similarly, a teacher from Pule Leeuw High School, Ms Violet Malata explained the direct benefit, “Learners now have options of different careers that they can follow at different institutions, as well as understanding the requirements and what core subjects they need to concentrate on more. I certainly feel that our learners can benefit from this support each year, so they will know, from onset, which career path to follow.”

During Waterloo Solar’s 20-year operations period, Socio-Economic Development projects will continue to focus on education, as well as youth development, health, food security and welfare, all aimed at benefiting the local communities of Vryburg, Kismet Park, Huhudi, Colridge and Dithakwaneng, within the Naledi Local Municipal area. The focus of these programmes have been chosen following localised research and engagement, to ensure that they are well informed and will strengthen the beneficiary communities.

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