OVER 2 000 PUPILS BENEFIT FROM JA PROGRAMMES
OVER 2 000 pupils including those from rural areas have benefited in this year’s Junior Achievement programmes.
This was commended by Prime Minister Dr. Sibusiso Dlamini during the JA annual National Expo held yesterday.
He lauded JA for continuing to champion entrepreneurship countrywide, especially in the rural parts of the kingdom.
He noted that the competition had 50 per cent participation from the top ten schools which were from the rural areas and that they participated by merit and not by design.
“It is very impressive that in the programme we have seen an increase in participation from rural schools, there are 2 000 pupils from 40 schools in this year’s three programmes which include financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and the Job Shadow programmes,” he said.
Of these, he said at least about 63 per cent came from the rural parts of the country.
Dlamini said this development was critical as the country has been encouraged to focus on the welfare and employment of the youth as they were the future leaders of the country.
“If the country neglects the youth there are consequences that come with it which include, mass unemployment, weak economy and a miserable population,” he said.
He said the unemployment rate among the youth needs to be resolved.
“It is not surprising therefore that one of the prominent themes of the African Union (AU) is ‘Harnessing the demographic dividend through investing in the youth’. It is what, in morden vernacular, is called “a nobrainer,” he said.
Dlamini said Cabinet takes a very serious view of the importance of schemes such as JA, ENACTUS and Kick-Start, saying these entities hold potential to contribute towards sustainable growth.
“The quality of the JA programme and mentoring inputs are to be highly recommended, the success achieved would not have happened without the enthusiasm, energy and commitment of the pupils themselves,” he said.
He further encouraged the pupils to pay more attention to the ICT sector, saying there were more opportunities that come from the sector.
FORMAL: JA Executive Director Siboniso Madlopha with Prime Minister Dr Sibusiso Dlamini, MC for the day Nomcebo Dlamini JA Executive Board Chairperson Nokukhanya Gamedze and Gcinile Fakudze.