VUT COLLABORATES WITH THE LIFE AFTER MATRIC PROGRAMME (LAMP) FOR THE BENEFIT OF HIGH SCHOOL LEARNERS
By Qhawekazi Memani 21 July 2022
On Friday, 15 July 2022, the Life After Matric Programme (LAMP) hosted an auspicious event for High School learners in partnership with the Vaal University of Technology (VUT), North-West University (NWU) and the South African Council for Graduates. The event was held at VUT’s Quest Conference centre.
The objective of LAMP is to transform and shape the future of young people in the Vaal region through interaction with experts in different fields; to equip them with tools to enable them to make informed decisions. The programme also aims to increase exposure of the youth to available opportunities.
In addition to dignitaries from various spheres of life, the event was attended by learners and teachers from the following high schools in Sharpeville: Lekoa Shandu Senior Secondary School (S.S.S), Thuto-Lore Comprehensive School, Mahareng SSS and Mohloli Maritime School of Specialisation. Bophelong was represented Dr Molefi Oliphant School of Specialisation.
During presentations, speakers and experts covered the following topics:
- Transitioning to the other side: Life After Matric by Mr Thamsanqa Maqubela (President World Council of Graduates).
- Making it in the Corporate World by Mr Thabo Kholoane (Senior Manager: Business Solutions, Imperial Logistics).
- Mental Strength and Resilience by Ms Tessa Pule (Communications Strategist; RNT Communications).
- Overcoming the Hard Knocks of Life by Mr Jerry Bangude (Award Winning Author and Motivational Speaker).
Delivering the welcoming address, Mr Mark Cunningham: Director, LAMP Foundation, emphasized that everyone is unique, complex, has their own beat and rhythm. “May you all have a vision, and may you follow your dream. All born original, stand-out in all you do!” he said.
In his opening remarks, Professor Dan Kgwadi, VUT Vice Chancellor and Principal highlighted that now is the time for the learners to start preparing themselves for life. “Without a destination in mind any path will take you anywhere. Have direction, get a mentor, and have role models,” he said.
“Take cognisance in that when we listen, we learn. After Matric, there are many options to choose from, there are different universities to choose from. Start looking now for areas of interests in university websites, attend open days and grab opportunities that will assist you in your journeys,” advised Professor Babs Surjulal; Executive Dean: Faculty of Economic Management Sciences, North -West University.
Mr Maqubela applauded teachers for the work they do and the role they play in the lives of learners. He said: “Continue to invest in yourselves, continue to give learners assistance they require. May you have it in you to be sponges and rocks for our children and take LAMP to the townships.”
Mr Thamsanqa Maqubela; Mr Mark Cunningham; Professor Babs Surjulal and Professor Dan Kgwadi
Learners from Dr Molefi Oliphant School of Specialisation presented on Technology and Innovation in Education, showcasing their different innovations and products that they have manufactured.
The programme included exhibitions by the VUT Student Recruitment team, NWU team, the VUT Science Park and other exhibitors.
The event proceedings also comprised breakaway sessions and the learners chose sessions to attend, giving them an opportunity to interact with different experts in various fields and sectors.
Learners from Thuto-Lore Comprehensive School shared the following message of gratitude: “We are grateful for this opportunity presented to us by all partners involved in putting the event together for us. Not only has it been informative, but it was also FUN! We are going to leave here ready to conquer the world and as aunty Tessa Pule said, we have a huge task on our hands of ensuring that she retires nicely. We will do our best to ensure that wish comes to pass.”
In closing, LAMP Director, Dr Wongiwe Ludidi said excitedly: “The event surpassed my expectations in every way. The turnout of the learners, educators and other dignitaries was exceptional. Engaging the learners on the day, they said they found the event beneficial, useful and the event was organised for their benefit.”
Dr Wongiwe Ludidi and school kids
LAMP was established in 2018, out of the dire need to provide learners with opportunities and insights on what to do after Matric. The Programme was a partnership between the Methodist Church of South Africa in Sharpeville and the South African Council of Graduates. As the programme grew, the LAMP Foundation was then tasked with doing the following:
- Providing learners in Grade 9 – 12 with insights into life post matric, therefore increasing their exposure to available career, vocational and hobby opportunities.
- Equipping learners with the tools that will enable them to make informed decisions about the future through assessments, workshops, and mentorship.
- Helping learners navigate career and occupational opportunities to live a great adult life.
- Inspiring learners by sharing career and occupational experiences with successful role models in business, professional careers, vocational jobs, academia, and other spheres.
- Providing learners with an opportunity to interact with companies, higher education institutions and skills development centres.
- Introducing learners to funding opportunities and funders locally, nationally, and abroad.