The JuniorTukkie (JT) office at the University of Pretoria (UP) recently hosted the Grade 11 Top Achievers’ function, which was attended by more than 1000 guests and included JT members, the top 10 academic achievers from selected schools, Life Orientation teachers and parents.
The JT programme is part of the Department of Enrolment and Student Administration, and was established to assist Grade 9–12 learners with information on study and career options; develop leadership qualities, life skills and study skills; and engage in community projects, among other things.
Before the commencement of the formal programme in the Aula theatre on Hatfield Campus, guests had the opportunity to visit the exhibition stalls of the various faculties and support departments in the Rautenbach Hall. The event also gave learners the chance to experience the lively atmosphere of student life at the university.
Master of Ceremonies Estie Powell, Chief of Marketing and Communications in the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology, ensured that guests were thoroughly entertained between the various items. Keynote speaker Wallace Isaacs, Deputy Director of the Department of Enrolment and Student Administration, captured the audience’s attention by offering valuable information to support prospective students during their transition from high school to university. Isaacs highlighted the importance of obtaining a degree in view of employment opportunities, adding that the highest unemployment rate is among individuals who have not obtained a degree.
The university established the [email protected] programme to help students complete their degrees in the minimum allocated time. The skills and knowledge students and graduates gain from the Ready for Work Programme (WREN) not only enhance their professional and personal profiles, but also assist them to make a meaningful contribution to the workforce, their communities and the economy while being successful in their chosen careers.
A major inspiration for learners is the university’s contribution to capturing the first image of a black hole. “This should be an encouragement to all learners to enrol for studies at the University of Pretoria where they can fulfil their dreams,” said Isaacs.
Dr Petrus Lombard, Project Manager at JT, provided essential information about the JT initiative. JT ambassador’s – students Tshepang Rihlampfu, Trevor van Wyk, Charmaine Nyundu and Refiloe Motsatsi – spoke about how the initiative had helped them to adapt to university life as first-year students. They encouraged the Grade 11 learners and Life Orientation teachers to download the JT app to receive important study-related information on time. The UP Virtual Campus was introduced as a valuable online tool to explore the university’s campuses and residences, and to access information about the study programmes offered by the various faculties.
Members of the university’s choir, Tuks Camerata, brought the crowd to its feet with their surprise appearance. The mission of this choir, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2018 and has received many national and international accolades over the years, is to enhance the cultural development of the student body, enrich the broader community by means of choral singing and act as cultural ambassadors of UP.
The ability to successfully balance a sporting career with studying can help make you a winner both on and off the playing field. Even though the demands of training, travelling and competing can be tough, it is possible for students to successfully achieve this balance. Steven Ball, Deputy Director of Coaching and Performance Management at TuksSport, shared a few facts about the university’s sports facilities, and highlighted the sporting and academic achievements of some UP students.
Motivational speaker Hein Wagner is living proof of the unlimited power of the mind. Blind since birth, he conquered what most sighted people fear most – total darkness. “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change,” said Wagner, who uses artificial intelligence to help him lead a full life. He shared his life experiences and accomplishments with great wisdom and humour.
At the end of the well-received programme, learners were invited to take part in a tour of Hatfield Campus.