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Upper East Region: Soumbunno Foundation partners Regional Maritime University to give career guidance to students

Soumbunno Foundation

Soumbunno Foundation, a non-profit organization, in collaboration with the Regional Maritime University has organised career guidance and counselling sessions for final-year students in some selected Senior High Schools in the Upper East Region.

The two-day programme dubbed: “We Talk” which falls under the bigger “Build a Child’s Dream” project, was aimed at educating the students on courses in the universities to enable them to make the right career choices. It was also aimed at giving insights into career excellence and unveiling the secrets to success.

The programme was held in four Senior High Schools namely; Bolgatanga Technical Institute in the Bolgatanga Municipality, Gowrie and Bongo Senior High Schools in the Bongo District, and Kongo Senior High School in the Nabdam District.

In all, over 4,000 final-year students from the schools participated in the programme, with the schools receiving a donation of books to support teaching and learning. An additional donation of books and other stationery was made to the Soe Basic School in the Bolgatanga municipality.

Maritha Adaare, the executive director of Soumbunno Foundation, explained that the “We Talk” project is part of a research being conducted to ascertain the effects of the inequality gap in the economy and education on the career choices of students in deprived areas.  

Adaare said the observation has been that students in deprived areas are limited when it comes to the various career opportunities available to them.

She was, therefore, hopeful the project would impact positively and help guide the students to walk the right career paths to be successful in future.  

“One thing we realised is that most of the students in these areas are limited as to the various career opportunities available to them. So, we have, for example, partnered with the Regional Maritime University to educate students on such career opportunities and to help them understand and be able to make the right choices.

We are hoping that at the end of this programme, the students will have a broader understanding of which careers they want to undertake and how to walk that path.”

Adaare in her engagement with the students advised them to put into consideration their needs in making career choices. She advised the students against selecting a life career outside their passion, as they could only put out their best when they are comfortable and believed in themselves.

For her part, Atchere Asuah-Kwaku, the director of operations at the Institute For African Women in Law, who doubles as the consultant for the “We Talk” Project, reiterated the need for the students to put in their best and invest time in their academic activities. Asuah-Kwaku said excelling in their studies was the key that would open many doors of opportunities and make them successful in life.

She further urged the students to cart the part of hard work, righteousness and be willing to learn from people who have excelled in career choices they hope to pursue in the future. Asuah-Kwaku also touched on the need for the students to be confident and ready to take up challenging tasks to prepare themselves for the future.

She said, “One of the challenges I have observed is that some of the students in deprived areas don’t believe in themselves. They do not have confidence. But being confident is one of the things that helps you to study well and even helps you to be successful in life. So, one of the things I have told the students is for them to be confident and believe in themselves and not let it stand in the way of who they want to become.”

Touching on building and maintaining peace in second-cycle schools, Asuah-Kwaku urged the students to learn to tolerate each other and coexist peacefully devoid of ethical disturbances. She noted that being tolerant of others was an important virtue to achieving academic success and life after school.

Matilda Obeng, the marketing assistant at the Regional Maritime University, said the partnership with Soumbunno Foundation is to help create awareness about maritime education, its importance and accompanying opportunities, and position them in the minds of students in the Northern part of the country which is lagging behind in maritime education.

She said the positioning of North with borders to countries such as Burkina Faso, Benin, Ivory Coast and Togo, makes the acquisition of maritime education by residents very important. She, however, said the lack of information about maritime education for students to make good life career choices is to blame for the low patronage.

She, therefore, urged the students to take their studies seriously to be able to enrol in the University to enjoy the numerous benefits of maritime education. She also added a voice to call to the students to refrain from toeing the line of ethnic disturbances in schools which, she said, could rob them of a better and brighter future.

To other non-government organizations, Obeng appealed to them to emulate the example and join efforts with the Soumbunno Foundation to provide scholarships to brilliant students to undertake courses at the Maritime University.

Reporting by Senyalah Castro in the Upper East Region

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