Our branches and projects have been pulling out the stops to ensure that our over 3 000 learners in six provinces are given the best support and guidance to empower them for successful STEM careers. Here are a few of their stories about activities at Mandeni, Stanger, Tongaat, and Umbogintwini branches to give some insight into the work we do at the rockface.
Tholithemba Shandu matriculated in 2017, and this year graduated with a BPharm degree from the University of KZN and is now serving internship at King Dinizulu Hospital in Durban.
Sandile Mathe also matriculated in 2017 and this year graduated with a BSc in Physiotherapy, also from the University of KZN. He is now doing his community service at Sundumbili Clinic in Mandeni.
On 1 October, Ishwar Naidoo, Mandeni Branch Manager, and Jacqueline Ndadane, our branch English tutor, hosted a certificate presentation ceremony for Grade 12 students in recognition of their participation in the programme.
In his address to the learners about the fresh new challenges of 2023, Ishwar reminded them of support that’s available through PROTEC mentors if they find they are struggling with fears and anxiety. “Remain committed, embrace the opportunities, and make use of support structures and people that are there to ensure you succeed in your studies.”
Many of the Grade 12s responded with messages of gratitude to the individuals and the organisations that had dramatically impacted their lives for the better.
PROTEC Stanger hosted a Career Exhibition Day for local learners on 10 September at the KwaDukuza Resource Centre, in partnership with various universities and colleges.
According to Colin Naicker, Branch Manager, “Learners were exposed to the different universities, and had the opportunities to engage with representatives from the institutions about their interests and concerns and career choices, which they found extremely valuable.” Learners were also given brochures, pamphlets, and other relevant material on their different career fields.
“It was evident that learners were greatly reassured by this opportunity to chat to people from the universities they hope to attend, gaining first-hand information about the institutions,” he says.
Naicker notes that this event will take place annually, earlier in the year, to enable more learners from surrounding schools to attend and benefit from the interaction. “An event such as this one is crucial for the peace of mind of our learners as they make their career choices for the future.”
Prashna Hansjee from the Engineering Department at the Durban University of Technology visited PROTEC Umbogintwini on 27 August to address our learners on career options in engineering and related fields, highlighting what the different engineering fields entail, and the entrance requirements for engineering. Prashna also encouraged the learners to apply to DUT to study engineering.
The visit was encouraging and informative for the learners as they consider their different career opportunities.
The mid-year school holidays were jam-packed with exciting activities for PROTEC learners who participated in a variety of workshops. In addition to enrichment classes in Maths and Physics, all grades participated in various fun activities facilitated by the UKZN Science & Technology Education Centre.
The Grade 10s enjoyed a robotics workshop, Grade 11s did Newton’s Second Law of Motion, and Grade 12s did a practical on the Conservation of Momentum.
Marion Takis, PROTEC Tongaat Branch Manager, says, “These workshops applied maths and physical science concepts in a practical and fun way, while also developing good teamwork habits, and problem-solving and communication skills. The learners also tested their skills and aptitude in engineering and increased their understanding of technology and the environment.” said PROTEC Tongaat manager Marion Takis.
Other holiday activities included the opportunity for grade 11s and 12s to visit potential places of employment, which included FFS Refiners, Dis-Chem Ballito, Victoria Mediclinic, Tongaat Community Healthcare Clinic, all of whom were gracious enough to host our learners.
Andile Xaba, Grade 11 learner, comments, “I had the privilege to visit FFS Refiners. Before the visit I thought I knew what a chemical engineer does and was set on it being the career for me, but after the visit I realised that I didn’t know much about the career. FFS Refiners explained exactly what chemical engineering is about and also taught us about the engineering field as a whole, including the many other careers it contains. I gained much knowledge about engineering and I am now more confident that engineering is the field for me.”
Matriculant Snelizwe Mbambo, who is planning to study pharmacy next year, says, “Work exposure not only allows us to learn more in-depth about the career paths we want to pursue, but it also helps us decide and observe whether we are making the right career choice or not.”
The Grade 11s visit FFS Refiners
Grade 10s have fun in the robotics workshop
Grade 12s tackle their practical on the Conservation of Momentum
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