Making a difference, a thousand boy pupils at a time

2015-03-25 17:23

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Motivational talks, career guidance and team building: this is what 110 businesses and government believe will give students a better future.

A thousand boy pupils were yesterday exposed to the workplace through the Men in the Making initiative.

The project is aimed at empowering and developing boy children through exposing them to positive role models, with the hope of tackling gender-based violence and unemployment.

Dr Shermain Mannah, the Director of Social Cohesion and Equity in Education, said such programmes will help young boys become successful.

“Our boys have been dropping out and there is a significant challenge around the retention of young men from Grade 9. It is programmes like this that ensures that ‘school survival’ of young boys is promoted so they can become successes in their own lives,” said Dr Mannah.

The project has seen 6000 young boy learners since its inception in 2009, with this year passing the first round of graduates emerging from university.

Leeto Thabana and William Sello, from Magaliesburg State School joined the programme as Grade 10 learners, and are now University of Johannesburg BCom Accounting graduates.

Thabana plans to remain a success story for other boys. He will be doing a Bridging Certificate in the Theory of Accounting (BCTA) with a hope of getting into CTA next year and eventually qualifying as a chartered accountant.

“I want to do a graduate programme at Deloitte or KPMG after I graduate with honours next year,” he said.

Another man in the making is Panyo Lesedi, who said: “My experience with the Men in the Making Campaign started in 2012. We got into it because we were looking for a day off (from) school but it turned out to be such a beautiful initiative. They have supported us through Grade 11 and 12. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be at UJ doing my second year.”

Dr Mannah added that “the Minister of Basic Education has been very clear that men and boys are an extremely important stream for us to focus on. Yes, girls are still at risk, but we also need to address some of the significant challenges that face young men.”

Wayne de Nobrega, CEO of Tracker – the company that conceptualised the project – said: “This initiative has grown from 35 to 140 companies and it’s phenomenal that we’re having such a sustainable and material impact on individuals.”

“We look forward to seeing the impact it has upon this year’s intake,” he concluded.

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