By Our Reporter
Moments after graduation, when the tents are finally brought down and graduates are done partying, a lot of them are held in a quandary.
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They wonder what they studied, why they studied it and how exactly it is going to help them in life. When you take a closer look, these are questions that one should ask as early as Senior One, yet a lot of Ugandans just go through school for mere ritualism and do courses at University, not because they are in line with their passion and desired career paths, but simply because it’s what their points could earn them.
It is against this backdrop that Education Concepts Limited organised The First Western Uganda Career Guidance Fair on Saturday, 11th of March 2017 at Ntare School in Mbarara. Under the theme “Shaping Career Decisions in the Context of Uganda’s Competitive Job Market”, The First Western Uganda Career Guidance Fair was attended by students from a spectrum of schools across the region.
The Fair kicked off with a Keynote Address from Mrs. Amanda Ngabirano, a Public Speaker, Makerere University Lecturer, Move Mobility National Representative and World Cycling Alliance African Representative, who set the pace for the day. Given that Amanda has previously spoken at the World Bank in Washington and in several major capitals of the world, students were eagerly waiting to hear from her and she didn’tdisappoint.
She was immediately followed by Mbarara University’s Solomon Agum, who gave a talk on choosing the right subject combinations and how that is primarily a crucial step in shaping one’s desired career path. Truthfully, a lot of students do combinations simply because they sound romantic or because they are perceived as being easy. Some stay away from certain combinations simply because they are not associated with hot girls and cool dudes, yet subject combinations are more important than just the stereotype perceptions attached to them.
It was then time for fun as schools entered a poetry, music and dance contest. Each school flaunted their best and winners were decided by mass appeal. This was much fun that it almost became impossible for the organisers to convince the students to go for lunch. You can trust students when it comes to having fun. They really never disappoint.
The afternoon session was kicked off by The Chwezi Code author Nicklison Twinamatsiko, who delivered a talk on the role of communication skills in career advancement.
Nicklison is an Engineer, Kyambogo University Lecturer and a regular contributor of articles to National newspapers and journals. His topic came in handy, given that a lot of graduates out there can barely communicate.
That was later to be followed by a practical session from Uganda Business and Technical Examinations Board (UBTEB) accredited institutions, which shared business and technical skills.
To the amusement of participating students, this team even made candles on location, using locally available inputs, clearly showing the students that they actually can start small businesses of their own.
The First Western Uganda Career Guidance Fair then went into its final part dubbed “the round-table session” that involved dividing students into smaller groups and giving each group a facilitator from among the speakers and UBTEB team. These sessions were so intense that students practically didn’t want to leave.
In all, it can be said that such fairs are so much of necessity because it was clear that so many students were in the dark in as far as shaping career decisions is concerned.
Education Concepts is an Education Consultancy that creates unique practical concepts aimed at guiding teachers and students at all levels of the education system.