Johannesburg: Gauteng MEC for Education Barbara Creecy today encouraged girls from various schools in the province to expand their career choices in the field of science.
“We want you to occupy the most senior positions in the field of science,” said Creecy on Tuesday.
Addressing a seminar aimed at capturing the interest and imagination of girl learners – held at the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre in Johannesburg – Creecy instilled in the learners the importance of hard work to secure success in the future.
More than 700 learners from various schools in Gauteng are attending the seminar, where they will be exposed to various career choices. More than 24 women professionals, mostly in the sciences, will interact with the girls.
“Our country needs more women scientists,” said Creecy, urging the learners to never stop aiming high.
The seminar is part of the activities planned to celebrate Women’s Month.
According to the Gauteng Department of Education, the aim of the annual Girl Learner Programme is to inspire young women to follow careers in the fields of science, engineering, finance and commerce.
The programme also seeks to highlight the roles, responsibilities, obligations and opportunities of women engineers, scientists and professional women in business in the 21st century.
“We hope to stimulate their curiosity and enhance knowledge and understanding of these fields through hands-on workshops and interactive presentations,” said departmental spokesperson Charles Phahlane.
“We will also provide a platform for girl learners to interface with a range of successful women role models.”
The learners will also be addressed by leading women from institutions such as the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Rand Water, Wits, University of Johannesburg and companies like Deloitte, Dell and I-Net Bridge.
One of the learners who attended the seminar, Vuyelwa Matshoba, 17, a Grade 11 learner at Ivory Park Secondary School in Tembisa, hoped that by the end of the seminar, she would be in a position to make the right career choice.
“I don’t know yet what I want to do after completing matric,” she said.
Lydia Mulaudzi, a teacher from Ivory Park Secondary School, told SAnews that learners should be exposed to other career paths.
“We have also brought them to learn about other things that affect them as girls and to know how to overcome such challenges,” she said.
At the seminar, young women scientists, engineers and finance professionals who are carving their position as future leaders in their fields will also exchange experiences, knowledge and wisdom with the learners.