More than 350 matric pupils at a Dutywa school received a much-needed boost towards pursuing their tertiary studies when their school held a career guidance session over the weekend.
The alumni of JS Skenjana Secondary School – which has the reputation for being one of the best-performing schools in the Dutywa district, having achieved not less than 90% in past academic years – organised the career guidance day, with help from the school.
Among discussions held on the day were challenges faced by pupils in rural schools while information on how to register at institutions of higher learning and seeking financial assistance was also shared with the pupils.
The event attracted a number of universities and other organisations, including the department of rural development and agrarian reform, University of Fort Hare, Eastern Cape Tourism Agency, Eastern Cape liquor board and National Financial Aid Scheme (NFSAS).
A number of pupils who excelled academically were also honoured at the event where the alumni hosted an awards ceremony. Some of the prizes awarded to the pupils were donated by the Auditor-General.
Addressing the pupils on the day, Eastern Cape Auditor-General Sithembele Pieters, who was a speaker at the event, urged pupils to use all the information that had been provided to advance their careers.
He told pupils to be careful when choosing careers and to choose careers relevant to the market.
Alumni chairman Mbeko Mbebe said a number of students, particularly those from rural backgrounds, were not exposed to some of the funding institutions.
“A lot of children are discouraged by their financial circumstances and do not even attempt to seek higher education. Too many times we have seen intellectually gifted children falling away simply because they do not have money to register,” Mbebe said.