The need for greater career knowledge is significant in Tanzania. Many students are uninformed about career paths available to them and subsequent employment opportunities.
To assist Tanzanian secondary school students in making decisions about their post-secondary career and life, Opportunity Education launched the Pathways Program. The program’s vision and commitment is to enable students at Quest Forward Schools to discover and realize their unique interests and purpose, and to support them through career exploration, internships, tertiary education, and a successful launch into a meaningful career.
Our first event for the Pathways Program, Career Day, was held on 12th September 2020 at Mwenge University. 91 Form 3 and Form 4 students from Mtakuja Secondary School attended. This first event was a great success for students, who explored careers and saw real-world examples of their path options, helping them to envision their own bright futures.
This event offered multiple unique opportunities to students. It was the first time that approximately 98% of these students were on a college or university campus. During the event, students explored what post-secondary school could be like for them. Representatives from the National Council for Technical Education (NACTE) and Vocational Education Training Authority (VETA) discussed vocational and college requirements and spoke to students about post-secondary school education opportunities.
Career Day also enabled students to learn about a wide variety of career paths, empowering students to open their minds to choices and options available to them. Speakers included 12 career professionals from different fields, including medicine, accounting, business, immigration, law enforcement, and education.
One of the speakers said, “It is encouraging to see Opportunity Education helping students reflect on their careers, something many of us missed.”
Career Day offered students meaningful connections between academic pursuits and potential careers. It was a unique platform for learners to develop personal and meaningful connections between themselves and experts. Additionally, Career Day encouraged students to explore their own interests and passions. They are in the process of better understanding themselves in the context of their community.
Reflecting on the day, one Mtakuja student noted, “I liked how different people spoke about their careers… I learned a lot about different careers and made a choice about which career I want.” Another student shared, “the opportunity of asking questions and getting answers with real examples from speakers who were all very informative about the connection between careers, people and life situations.”
Beginning in 2021, Career Days will be hosted annually in late January and early February for all Form 3 students in schools that are part of the Quest Forward School Network. Quest Forward students will gather regionally to participate, along with select colleges, universities, individuals from a variety of careers, and VETA programs that will share valuable information and perspectives with students.
Career Day will be an essential piece of the Pathways Program, and will continue to inspire students for many years to come.
At Opportunity Education, we prepare students to create value for themselves, their villages, and the world. The Pathways Program’s Career Day is a path to fulfilling our vision for Quest Forward students in Tanzania.