Civil engineers quit jobs to build bridges with students

2011-11-25 00:00

QUITTING your day job to provide a free service to the community might sound crazy to some, but for civil engineers Ntombi Nzunza (25) and Vusi Nganga (30) it is a rewarding choice.

The civil engineers left the corporate world to mentor and tutor uMgungundlovu FET civil engineer students in Edendale under their Sifundasonke project. While resources and funding present challenges, Ngaga and Nzuza say they are not giving up.

“Through lecturing I discovered that three months is not enough for students to master the whole syllabus. We provide students with study guides, which we manufacture by combining sections from various study guides. These provide a step-by-step guide through questions that the students have difficulty with.

“We monitor their improvements through weekly tests and secure internships for them at companies at the suggestion of the FET,” said Nzuza who was a lecturer at Coastal KZN College.

Since September some 60 students have gathered at Georgetown library , every day from 3 pm to 6 pm for lessons in which each question and aspect of civil engineering is thoroughly analysed.

Said Nganga, who used to work for CBI Consulting Engineers, “We motivate the students and instil in them that civil engineering is not as hard as people believe and we have seen a big improvement in their results. Running a project like this would be easy for a big company, but for two people it a massive undertaking. However, seeing the students achieve A grades makes it worth it.”

Civil engineering N2 student Faith Mncedane said she would have not been able to cope with the exams without this support.

“We get little time to study at college, meaning that we have insufficient time to grasp most things. Knowing that I have a place to go to ask more questions … and go through things step by step is a real big help. Even my results speak for themselves,” said Mncedane.

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