Community guides youth into future

2017-04-26 06:02
Ses’Fikile Community organisation hosted their 2nd annual career expo where matriculants from Rietvale High school attended. Photo: Boipelo Mere

Ses’Fikile Community organisation hosted their 2nd annual career expo where matriculants from Rietvale High school attended. Photo: Boipelo Mere

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Young people’s circumstances should never be used as an excuse for underperforming or for why they are not looking at improving their lives.

That was the opinion of Ritchie matriculant Sophie Geyer (16), who highlighted the importance of grabbing each opportunity with both hands and putting it to good use.

Geyer was among Gr. 12 learners of the Rietvale High School who attended the second annual career expo hosted by the Ses’Fikile community organisation in the community hall on Tuesday, 18 April.

This is only one of the youth community development interventions that the organisation hosts to create value and make a difference within the community.

Operating as a non-governmental organisation (NGO), it was established by a group of professionals who were born there, in an attempt to promote post-school qualifications through running different programmes.

The 62 matriculants were addressed by representatives of various institutions like the Sol Plaatje University (SPU), the University of South Africa, the University of the Witwaters­rand (Wits), the National Youth Development Agency and the Northern Cape Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College.

Learners should not wait for opportunities to be handed to them on a silver platter, said Geyer.

All eyes are on the class of 2017 after the class of 2016 outdid themselves through producing a 94% pass rate, a huge jump from the 35% pass rate in 2015.

The school was further awarded for the best improved school in the province, making them the toast of their notorious town, Ritchie.

Geyer strongly urged her peers to develop an “everything is possible” attitude and to prove they can perform better than the previous year’s matriculants.

Highlighting the limited privileges that they have, she mentioned that their library is too small and a long distance away, resulting in risking their safety on their return home after spending long hours doing research.

“Another source of accessing information is also using our cellphones, which also limits us due to the cost of data,” she added.

Fellow learner Caltrine Lekhobo was also very excited about the opportunity to access more information on career opportunities.

He was among the few learners of his school that was chosen to attend the autumn classes in Kimberley over the holidays.

He applauded his community for meeting government halfway in improving the lives of the youth of Ritchie.

“Efforts like these by the community will indeed motivate the learners a lot, given the fact that most are from poor backgrounds and just need a push in the right direction, at the right time,” he said.

The different partners in the programme saw the session as an intervention at the right time at the school.

Dr Jack Biko (Wits) highlighted that the learners need to have positive role models.

“Children here basically need to have the right role models, as some are under the impression that achievements come quickly without hard work.

“Children have to see that you only achieve through hard work and education.

“They need to look up to people who are well-educated and have gone through the system and who are from the same background as themselves.

“To make it in life, you must have dreams and reach your destination.

“Every destination brings new dreams, but you must go even further. You can never come to a point where you say, now I have achieved, you have never achieved until you die.

“You must basically know that life is about learning on a daily basis.

“Thus, I say that one never stops learning, because life never stops teaching.”

Biko gave a thumbs up to the programme as he believes that community intervention is the way to go in an effort of exposing themselves.

“They will end up feeling like successful people through education, and in that way they will at least dream big.”

The SPU is proud of its measures to assist young people to realise their dreams of studying at a tertiary institution.

Jerome September of the SPU sees the initiative as the beginning of great things and recommended accommodating lower grades, from Gr. 10, in order to prepare them in time.

“In many respects, by the time learners are in matric they have already made their subject choices and often may become confused as to what to they have to do now,” he said.

He encouraged the school to conti­nue building on the outstanding 94% pass rate of 2016, as it is important for the school to look at what they did right and where they should improve.

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