29 July 2011

Take a learner to work day

By: Sinovuyo Falakahla and Zongezile Matshoba

Take a learner to work day is not a day that’s well known to many. It’s a day whereby professional working class citizens host a student in their day to day job and facilitates them in their day to day doings in hope that the learner too will one day aspire to take on that profession.

The initiative, by the Eastern Cape Department of Education, in association with Scifest Africa, is in celebration of the National Science Week, a countrywide celebration of science initiated in 2000 by the Department of Science and Technology.

In line with the 2011 theme, "The Role of Science in Economic Development", one of the activities planned for the NSW 2011 Programme in Grahamstown was a Take a Learner to Work Day.

In the town, a number of grade 11 students from various schools around the town got together for this day at the Department of Education and got assigned to the various working environments. Five of these learners visited the Albany Museum for this day. The tasks and jobs they were all assigned to, varied. One student, Thulani Mshiywa from Khutliso High who is an aspiring accountant got to sit down with Khanyiswa Mhlekwa, the State Accountant from the museum and got to witness what her job entailed and got to work hand in hand with her. After the experience this is what he had to say:

“I found today interesting as I got to apply what I have learnt at school to the work I was being given which made it more practical”.

Anathi Siwela, a learner from Nstika High School visited the Archeology Department and got to work along side two very professional people Dr. Binneman and Celeste Booth. Dr. Binneman has been in the game for over 30 years. With his visit to the department Siwela found that learning the history of the transformation and the evolving of what was then compared to what is now very interesting. Although he is still not clear about what he wants to do at tertiary level, he thinks that having a scientific background as a stepping stone.

Amongst the learners were two very enthusiastic boys, Amangile Mfundisi and Siluvuyo Singaphi from Nombulelo Senior Secondary School who visited the History Department, under the guidance of Fleur Way-Jones, the History Museum curator. The two boys are aspiring historians and pilot who found they visit worthwhile. They learnt about environmental conservation and the preservation of historical objects and how the change in temperature can affect them. Very high temperature melts and creates molding on the surface of the objects. They all eagerly wore protective clothing to prevent the oiliness of their hands from damaging the material and had check lists for both security and conservation purposes.

The objective of the whole initiative was for the guest to learn more about the vision and mission of the organisation, the roles and tasks of the various staff members, the training required to follow a career in the relevant field, as well as to experience a typical day in workplace and perhaps even gain some practical experience.

The whole day had been greatly anticipated by all the students and it proved to be both and educational and interesting experience by far.

Sinovuyo Falakahla is a grade 11 learner from Mary Waters High School. She was with the Communications and Marketing Department learning how to write a press release and take pictures.

"As I myself not only got exposed to new and exciting things but also learnt that there’s more to life than what meets the eye as I would have never thought I'd be writing my first article".

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