Africa is young – and it continues to get younger as other populations around the world are getting older. There are almost 200 million youths in Africa and, according to African Economic Outlook it is believed that the number will double by 2045.
Youth are the hope of the African continent, and should be encouraged to come up with new ideas and innovations and develop skills to solve challenges faced by the continent. This can be achieved through proper career guidance and sharing of opportunities available in the Science, Technology, Mathematics and Engineering fields.
It was a jolly and exciting day on 26 May 2017 at CSIR International Conference Centre, Pretoria, where young potential future scientists visited the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research to engage and interact with students, researchers and exhibitors.
Dr Ntombi Mathe, a CSIR researcher who was the guest speaker for the day, gave the learners some background on her career path and encouraged learners to keep focused.
Lerato Nchabeleng, a Soshanguve secondary school learner, said: “I was always intrigued about the medication we take, especially tablets with a cover, always asking myself what happens to the cover when the pill gets in the stomach. Today I got the answer to the question that I have been asking myself for many years. I was not sure about exactly what I want to study after matric but after visiting the exhibition stands I am now aware of different careers in health since I have always wanted to have a career in that field.”
“I learnt a lot about the different careers from health, nutrition, engineering and energy. I was most interested in food science as I am passionate about foods and agriculture. This career day will help me to choose a career which I love and am passionate about”, said a learner from Rosina Sedibane Sport School.
“I brought the learners here to learn about the careers opportunities available in STEM, but not only that, also to interact and engage with experts and scientists, to get hands on experience on some of the experiments we do at school,” Seshegong Secondary School teacher, Ms Nkoana stated.
The day was concluded with learners being afforded the opportunity to ask exhibitors questions related to their exhibitions and the opportunities available in their field of expertise.