Posted on June 05, 2024

On Tuesday, May 14, 2024, the School of Information Technology (SIT) held a prize-giving ceremony at the Groenkloof campus. Students who performed exceptionally well and their parents were invited to this prestigious event. The School of IT has been hosting this event for the past few years to recognize outstanding students and encourage others to excel in their studies. The SIT Prize Giving has become very popular, with many students eagerly awaiting their invitations to this event.

The award ceremony was graced by the presence of the Vice-Principal: Academic, Prof. Loretta Feris, who warmly welcomed guests and delivered an exceptional opening speech to commence the event. Following this, the Dean of the Faculty, Prof. Wynand Steyn, provided a brief overview of the Faculty and extensively discussed the School of Information Technology, its vital part in the EBIT Faculty, and the University as a whole. Prof. Steyn acknowledged the hard work and crucial contributions of the staff members, extending his congratulations to the students receiving prizes. He commended their dedication and excellence, emphasizing that their achievements align with and support the vision of EBIT and UP.

The guest speaker, Dr Wynand Beukes from 'We Buy Cars', gave an insightful overview of his company and shared valuable tips on starting a business. Reflecting on the history of 'We Buy Cars', he highlighted its growth across Africa. 'We buy cars' is one of the industry partners for the School of IT and in his speech, Dr Beukes encouraged students who would like to go into entrepreneurship that teamwork is the key and hard work and dedication is extremely crucial for business success.

Other industry partners that were invited to the event included: Data Schools (Evert Smith), iLead e al, EXAH, SAICA, BMW, ZA HUB, Sabinet, Bargain Books, Johannesburg Publishers, Van Schaik, Uitgewers Publishers, Wiley, Lapa Uitgewers, University of Johannesburg Press, Briza Publications, entelect, Gendace. These industry partners also offer bursaries to students and they presented prizes (goodie bags) to the students in recognition of their hard work and the return on the companies' investments.

Ms Christina Firkins entertained the guests with her combination of classical and broadway music. She started to sing when she was in Grade three, only 7 years old, and started with individual singing at age of 14 while doing grade 9. She is classically trained and has a training Grade 8 level, and is still training online. She was part of three UP choirs; Jaradanda’s children choir for 6 years, UP Youth choir for 2 years and Tuks Camerata for 4 years. Ms Ms Firkins is also an Assistant Lecturer at the Department of Information Science and said watching her students take photos of her was very interesting: “This was my first big event singing individually, I enjoyed the event so much, and it was interesting to see my photos fly all over.”

- Author Emly Mathe

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