Witsies teach Soweto learners about the path less travelled

PLAN A: Wits Masters students part of the non-profit organisation Rethink Africa hosted a career day at Morris Isaacson Secondary School in Soweto yesterday.  They identified a need to make information about career options more accessible to grade nine and 10 learners from underprivileged areas.  The day served to give learners guidance in their subject choices to further their tertiary education.   Photo: Lameez Omarjee  ​

PLAN A: Wits Masters students hosted a career day at Morris Isaacson Secondary School in Soweto yesterday after they identified the need to make information about career options more accessible to learners from underprivileged areas.
Photo: Lameez Omarjee

A group of Witsies spent part of their weekend with learners at the Morris Isaacson Secondary School yesterday to try and expose the youngsters to a wider range of careers options.

The Masters in Development Theory and Policy students, who are also part of the non-profit organisation, Rethink Africa, visited the school in Soweto to “express the broadness of the choices” available to grade nine and 10 learners.

“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 Witsie Ayabonga Cawe.

Empowering choices

Cawe said one of the most important things of the initiative is to share information not normally 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 so successfully,” he said.

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, included up to 135 high school students from Emshukantambo, Morris Isaacson, Immaculate and Reasoma schools.

“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.” 

Witsie 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.”

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.

The learners were encouraged to study in all fields, including science, arts and commerce. Economists, doctors and forensic anthropologists also addressed the learners as part of the day’s programme.

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