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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Career guidance for rural schoolgirls

Career guidance for rural schoolgirls

Story by Memory Chamisa

GIRLS from rural areas have been challenged to take up Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects that position them for better successful career paths.

The girls often lack support and mentorship on career guidance when compared to their urban peers.

However, this Saturday witnessed a group of students from Bikita being afforded an opportunity to meet women in Harare, who have broken barriers and made a mark in male-dominated spheres.

“I’m one girl who always thought nursing is the best career one can do but because of today’s exposure I see I had looked down on myself and now I want to be an engineer,” said one of the girls.

Another added, “I’m from Bikita and this is my first time in Harare. I now know that the sky is the limit and as long as I put my mind and passion, I can be anything I want like Captain Chipo who is a pilot.”

“We are always told STEM subjects are for boys, but I’m going to put a lot of effort in them so that I can be a pilot or engineer. This was really inspiring and I’m determined I’m going to work hard and achieve that,” another reiterated.

Guest speaker, Captain Chipo Gatsi who is a pilot and Mrs Chioneso Maradza, a school inspector Bikita District, noted the importance of the initiative to inspire the girl child from rural areas.

“I really was touched at how Inquisitive these young girls were. I am glad that I managed to give them hope and inspiration that anything is possible if they commit to it and get the support and guidance,” Capt.Gatsi said.

“These programmes encourage overall development and not just academically. Students get to sharpen their skills from an early age,” said Mrs Maradza.

Organisers of the initiative are also determined to empower the girl child.

Director of Mambure Trust, Dr Helen Venganai said, “Rural students often drop out of high school or change their streams mid-session. All these can be avoided if they acquire guidance at an early stage. The entire system should be integrated to include parents, students, and teachers in making an informed decision. The process makes them interact with experts who help them in making those decisions.

“Career guidance programmes assist students in understanding the job spectrum and other requirements for a particular profession. These programmes encourage overall development and not just academically. Students get to sharpen their skills from an early age.”

As the girls go back home, this Saturday’s experience will forever be etched in their minds and hearts as they had an opportunity to see the professional world in a different way.

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