Girls get a glimpse of possibilities

2015-06-03 06:00
BUKELWA QWELANE, acting chief director of educational development and support in the Department of Education.

BUKELWA QWELANE, acting chief director of educational development and support in the Department of Education.

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GIRLS aged between 14 and 18 start applying their minds to career and education choices, so this is a good age at which to prevent their choices from being influenced by gender stereotyping.

This is why, on Thursday (28/05), 25 learners of the Vulamasango, Moemedi, Hodisa, Sehunelo and Kagiso Secondary School were invited to participate in Cell C’s Take a Girl Child to Work Day.

The girls were hosted by the Free State Department of Education, in partnership with the National Empowerment Fund (NEF), Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) and Caramellos at the Fidel Castro Building (formerly known as the C.R. Swart Building) in Bloemfontein.

The initiative was launched 13 years ago to give female high school learners the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of the world of work so that they can make informed decisions about their career paths.

“This is a noble campaign and we are very excited to be involved in it,” said Bukelwa Qwelane, acting chief director of educational development and support in the Department of Education.

“It gives girls an opportunity to undergo a life-changing experience. I must say that we never had this kind of an opportunity during our time as learners. As a result all of us wanted to become teachers.

“This campaign gives children a broad exposure to different careers that they can choose from when they finish their secondary school education. It is part of career guidance in action.

“We selected girls who are in gr. 10 and gr. 11 because that’s where they get to choose the subjects based on the careers they want to follow. At this stage it’s crucial for them to be exposed to different careers.”

Matshidiso Likoebe (17) of the Sehunelo Secondary School was one of the girls who participated in the programme.

She says the initiative is necessary to help young girls make the right career choices.

“Participation in the programme reaffirmed my dream to study Law. I am a big dreamer,” Matshidiso told Express.

“Listening to speeches by Mme (Jacky) Ntshingila of Sida, and Mme (Bukelwa) Qwelane of the Department of Education made me realise that women can be whatever they want if they dream big.

“They also encouraged us to respect other people, abstain from sex and love God.

“We really learned a lot of things on the day. It was a day well spent, I must say,” concluded Matshidiso.

Ntshingila, provincial manager of Seda, told the girls that they had to have self-confidence and love God.

“Put God first in whatever you plan. If you think we are crazy, when we talk to God. Wait until you come to a certain age and you’ll realise that He is alive,” Ntshingila said.

“Ensure that whatever you do, God is on your side, you are with God, you consult with God. Without God you are nothing.”

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