By Anna Ingwafa
Learners from different schools in Oshana Region flocked to Valombola Vocational Training Centre (VVTC) on Tuesday at Ongwediva for the annual career fair.
The fair under the theme “my priority is my education” aims to educate, inform and expose learners to various professional and study opportunities to enable them to make informed decisions on what careers to follow. It will last for three days.
The Oshana Regional Director Dutte Shinyemba presides over the fair and explained that this year’s theme aims to reiterate the idea that education is a right and a privilege and should be every learner’s priority.
“One cannot make a career choice if one does not resolve to make education a priority. Many careers require one to study beyond grade 12. It is because of this reason that we have invited various presenters to come and share information on various career options and tertiary education,” said Shinyemba.
She cautioned learners to be vigilant and not to waste the opportunity to go to school, because if one lets it go, it is hard to reclaim and many that have not made use of the opportunity will never have it again.
Moreover, the regional director encouraged girls to consider professions that were previously considered exclusively for boys. She assured girls that they can do just as well as boys.
“In the process of empowering girls and ensuring their success, we should not lose sight of the interests and capabilities of boys and marginalize them.
Boys and girls are equally important and should respect each other’s strengths and intellectual ability and thus we encourage both to strive for excellence.”
Shinyemba cautioned that making a final choice about a career is a very important step not only affecting one’s working life but also one’s socio-economic lifestyle. Choosing a career is a process, which requires self-knowledge and a focus on possible career opportunities. “You are thus expected to listen and participate, and then to go back, sit and ponder.”
As a result, the career fair aims to equip learners and life skills teachers with skills to do continuous research on available career opportunities for further studies and possible funding institutions.
The fair also aims to bring life skills teachers in contact with people who can be their resource persons at different companies and learning institutions. Shinyemba called on teachers to continue to maintain open communication channels between their schools and the presenters at the fair.
On HIV/Aids, the regional director noted the fair would not be complete without addressing the plight of HIV/Aids and that the region is committed to the fight against the epidemic and sees it as an integral part of the fair – thus they included New Start Centre and the office of the Regional Aids Committee for Education.
Shinyemba expressed her gratitude to the institutions presented at the fair and encouraged them to continue the close collaboration for the good of the learners who through their enthusiasm for the career fair will demonstrate the necessity of their presence.
“The doors of our offices are always open and we welcome all initiatives from stakeholders in providing us with updated information on your institutions. Let us dedicate ourselves to the education of our learners in any way possible.”
She explained that learners informed about opportunities of further studies and careers will be encouraged to study hard, because information gives vision to which to aspire and a learner without a vision does not have a reason to work hard.
Also, an informed person is empowered to venture through life confidently, armed with knowledge and able to make choices and decisions without regretting them later or blaming the consequences of his/her choices on others.
Learners might not be motivated to study because they are not interested in the profession they know. But learning about new professions will inspire these youngsters to pursue their dreams.
Institutions at the fair are University of Namibia, VVTC, International University of Management (IUM), Namibia Defence Force, New Start Centre, Regional Aids Committee, Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Gender and Child Welfare, Ministry of Health and Social Services and Bank of Namibia.
Oshana Region has 130 schools and 58 of those with grade 10-12 will visit the career fair on a rotational basis. About 1 177 learners are expected to visit the career fair.