Local NGO drills secondary students on academic excellence in Salima

Over 100 students at Ngodzi Community Day Secondary School in Salima have been drilled on achieving academic excellence through a mentorship and career guidance session that was organized by Salima-based NGO, Youth Empowerment and Support Initiative.

Malasa Banda speaking to students at Ngodzi Community Day Secondary School in Salima

The session which took place at the school on Wednesday, was organised to provide students with career guidance and mentorship as a way of helping them achieve their academic aspirations, among others.

According to the Youth Empowerment and Support Initiative Executive Director, Samuel Malasa Banda, the organisation conducted the mentorship and career guidance session at the school realising that students in the area do not go further with education due to lack of role models and people to motivate and guide them.

“Ngodzi is one of the most remote areas in Salima. There are no colleges and very few people have attained tertiary education and are in formal employment.

“As a result, a lot of young people here lack motivation and guidance to work hard in school, resorting to fishing business, early marriages and child bearing, and migrating to South Africa to work as unskilled labourers. So we want to inspire and motivate them,” Malasa said.

Malasa added that his organisation plans to have permanent mentorship and career guidance sessions at the school as a way of ensuring that the intervention is not a once-off one.

“Normally, organisations like ours just come to these places for a day and once they leave, everything is abandoned.

“We want to keep having conversations with the students and timely respond to their challenges so that we sustain the impact of our efforts,” added Malasa.

In his remarks, Head Teacher for the school, Godfrey Mwale said he was grateful for the organisation’s visit as it would encourage the students to work hard in their education and make better decisions in life.

“It motivates these students to work hard in school when they see their fellow young people who have gone to universities.

“The lessons they have received today will help them to make good career choices and also encourage them to work hard in their studies,” Mwale said.

He then called on the organisation to maintain the initiative so that the students are constantly motivated to remain in school instead of rushing into early marriages and child bearing.

Ngodzi CDSS is one of the 14 schools that the organisation had visited with mentorship and career guidance session in 2019.

According to Malasa, his organisation had planned to visit 20 of the district’s 38 secondary schools in 2019.

In addition to achieving academic excellence, the students were also drilled on resisting peer pressure and setting SMART goals. The sessions are facilitated by a group of Salima-based volunteers consisting of university students, recent graduates and young professionals.

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