Mandela month round-up: MUT takes the University to Ndwedwe Municipality

Sithembile Ndlovu asks one of the learners a questions for which he received a price after giving a correct answer

A sense of solidarity was created by the University when its academics and support services left everything for two days to reach out to the learners of Ndwedwe Municipality. From 24-25 August, MUT became Ndwedwe citizens where they hosted over 1000 learners from Ndwedwe Municipality schools who attended a two-day Open Day at two locations in Ndwedwe Municipality. The learners now have a clear idea as to how they need to plan their future as they go through the last months of their grade 12 journey before they enrol for their post-matric education. The first leg of the Open Day was at the Ndwedwe Civil Hall on 24 July 2023; the second leg was at Mary Gray Hall, near Bhamshela, a day after.

The aim was not just to recruit students but first, “To empower them with skills so they could make life-long career and personal choices. We are here to ensure that you make a mark for yourselves, your families, and communities”, said Tracy Sthembile Ndlovu, Schools Liaison Officer. The Career Fair was organised by the Stakeholder Relations directorate, led by Ms Zama Sishi and her team and took weeks to plan and prepare. “We worked with the Office of the Mayor, the municipality and the Department of Education District to get project buy-in, project support, and investment into the project”. Carrying the MUT flag, were academics from various departments as well as Student Financial Aid, the MUT’s Health Services, Sports, and of course MarComms, the project leader.

Sishi’s unique approach to Career Day planning has provided more leverage for the University than when the University must piggy-back on activities planned for various universities. “Teaming with many universities during the open days has limitations. For instance, the learners get information from many sources. In most cases it is a case of just picking up flyers and moving on to the next stand. The format we used at the Ndwedwe Municipality gave the learners a chance to not only listen to our presenters, but also interact with our academic staff, who displayed some of the teaching aids that they referred to during their conversations with the learners,” said Sishi. According to Sishi, this might be a way they are going to conduct their Open Day next year.