Staff and students of the Faculty of Health Sciences recently provided career guidance and career exposure for Grade 12 Learners at the Prophet Isaiah Shembe One Stop Resource Centre in Inanda, eMzinyathi. The career day was hosted by the local Inanda non-profit organisation (NPO), Sinethemba Women’s Foundation (SWF) on the 13th of March 2023.

The event hosted just over 100 learners from Mqhawe and Mbheki Secondary Schools, located in Inanda. The aim of the SWF Career Day was to “provide quality career and study related information and counselling services to Grade 12 learners and unemployed youth in rural Inanda, and to also contribute to the larger goal of assisting them to ‘embrace’ and fulfil their potential for sustainable and impactful youth development,” states SWF chairperson, Ms Sinenhlanhla Mbatha.

The event formed part of the organisation’s Ikusasalethu (“Our Future”) Career Guidance and Support Services Programme which aims to create collaborative stakeholder networks that provide information and advice on subject choices, career decisions, study choices, funding for tertiary studies, and occupations in high demands.

Ms Mbatha of SWF highlights the objectives of the Ikusasalethu Programme, “We hope to: Provide quality life planning education and proper career service which are classified with our developmental needs of different stages of growth, support students to create good career decisions according to their abilities, interests, orientations, empower students to make responsible and informatic choices on their education, career goals and other aspects for leading to a meaningful life, support students in adapting and managing to the transition of life from school to the tertiary education/ workplace, assist students to understand their own career and academic aspirations. Whilst also developing positive attitudes towards learning and work, ensure that the students properly utilize the acquired knowledge, attitudes, and skills whenever necessary, aid in the facilitation of applications, late applications, change of mind applications and registration of the students who have not yet applied for further education.”

The invitation to present at the career day was extended to all higher education institutions in KwaZulu-Natal, as well as the Nation Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) and the Central Applications Office (CAO). The Faculty of Health Sciences’, Mr Zamani Mayeza and Mr Philani Zondi, and students from the Department of Emergency Medical Care and Rescue, Mr Nqubeko Maseko and Ms Gemma Schumann, were present on the day to represent the Durban University of Technology (DUT).

The DUT representatives were responsible for sharing the various study options that are offered by the university and the requirements that are needed for possible entry. They also provided general motivation to the learners to encourage them to perform well academically and to start planning for their post-school careers.

Speaking on his experience of the event, Mr Mayeza states, “It was a great experience. The learners were respectful and listened to us attentively. We are hungry for more opportunities like this, especially in rural areas.”

He further continues to elaborate on the impact and importance of such events, “This brings a positive impact to the learners as they are made aware of the courses that they must apply for, rather than just applying for anything. It also motivates those that were not keen to apply before they attended the event.” Mr Mayeza also expressed gratitude to the students who accompanied him on the day and their enthusiasm to assist the learners, “In order to do this task, one must have passion, be people-centred, be patient – eager to work and study hard.”

The Community Engagement team thanks the many selfless individuals of the Faculty of Health Sciences for their ongoing support and fervour when representing the university in engagement activities and continuing to prove that DUT is indeed an engaged university.

Pictured, from left to right: Mr Philani Zondi, Mr Nqubeko Maseko and Ms Gemma Schumann of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the Sinethemba Women’s Foundation Career Day (Photo Credit: Ms Sinenhlanhla Mbatha)

Tracy Khuzwayo

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