Library programmes help with career choices

The pupils at Westridge Secondary School attend various programmes to broaden their knowledge on careers.

The library paves the way for pupils at Westridge Secondary School to improve their knowledge on career choices especially those in the technology sector.

Originally a storage room in 2013, it was gradually turned into a suitable space for a library,
said assistant librarian Martine Adams.

A range of stakeholders played a big role in establishing the library seven years ago, she said.

“The library is more than just a room full of books. Pupils will make time to come to the library and read, and make use of the space given to them. Social ills are discussed in this room, to empower pupils with knowledge,” she said.

Westridge-born author Athol Williams has partnered with the school, to help them with poetry and writing and has also shared his life story with them.

“Pupils need to exercise their minds regularly, and the library is the best place to do this. Reading a book is like giving your mind a workout. Pupils should find books outside their curriculum on topics they enjoy and read for fun,” he said.

“He has been instrumental in helping us start our library,” said Ms Adams.

Assistant librarian, Bonita Abrahams, has also chaperoned the pupils at various career days and Artificial Intelligence programmes at Stellenbosch University and Lentegeur civic centre.

Kauthar Campbell, 16, who attended the Artificial Intelligence for Women at Stellenbosch University in October last year (“Pupils’ artificial intelligence skills enhanced”, Plainsman, October 30, 2019) and the Artificial Intelligence in Mitchell’s Plain gathering at Lentegeur civic centre in March last year, said programmes such as these draw them out of their comfort zones and challenge them to think hard and work hard.

In preparation for the Artificial Intelligence in Mitchell’s Plain competition, she said, they had to prepare presentations on world wide problems and try and solve them. “We would rehearse this at the library with the help of our librarians coaching us and guiding us,” she said.

And, she added, it had been school library staff who had informed them about a robotics career expo held in March last year at Century City.

Matriculant Ethan De-Mink, 17, wants to study robotics in engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). “We have infinite possibilities.”

At a very young age he watched Star Wars and became interested in robots. “Life is becoming advanced and we need to know how technology works at all times.”

Catherine February, 16, wants to study Information Technology as she loves working with computers. “One day technology will take over the world and we need to be informed on how to use it,” she said.

Matriculant Tyla Groenewald, 17, wants to be an architect. “I would like to use coding in the blueprint when creating a house. I will use a rod that will create a 3D hologram, showing how the house will look in real life without it being built,” he said.

Ms Adams said while the pupils made good use of the computers in the library, they were outdated, and the library was in need of a copy machine, projector and scanner to make life easier for pupils. “We however assist as far as we possibly can to help the pupils with work and information they seek,” she said.