Tuesday, January 2, 2018

How youth can make the most of 2018


By Devotha John djohn@thecitizen.co.tz

Today is the second day of 2018, and as is customary to many people, a new year marks a new beginning. It is a time when people start planning for the year ahead. Be it in education, career, family or personal goal, planning for the year ahead in the initial stage is very crucial.

Speaking to Success, university students, teachers, lecturers, human resource managers and job seekers opened up their targets for this year.

Fresh university students who just a few months ago embarked on a new education journey have their set goals for this year. Having gone through the demanding curriculum and schedule of secondary school, starting higher education might have seemed like a walk in the park at the beginning, but most come to find out that that isn’t the case.

Frank Msemwa, a second year student at the University of Dar es Salaam says his 2018 New Year resolution is pegged on good academic performance.

“I am set to score a good GPA, which will open a new door for my Third Year studies. I have all my goals set to study hard and ensure that I pass well my courses in sociology, especially calculus,” says Msemwa.

He notes that in 2017 he passed through challenges that he thought could deter his academic achievements but thank goodness all went well.

“Accommodation on the university campus was a hard nut to crack coupled with receiving loans late. In an attempt to overcome university life challenges I found myself trapped in a puddle of debts,” he says.

Mr. Msemwa adds that he thanks God because the accommodation problem was resolved, adding that he wishes loans will also be disbursed in time, a situation which will enable him to achieve his set goals.

Dennis Dawson, First year students at Ardhi University, says he anticipates the New Year to come with positive changes in his academic endeavour unlike last year when he failed to finish the semester due to financial constraints.

“I did not receive loans and the university administration had no tolerance to students who had not paid fees. The best option was to defer the semester,” says Dawson, adding, “my mother, who is a widow, paid for my first semester but during the second semester things went astray. I Pray to God that this year come with new blessings.”

Second year student at the University of Dar es Salaam, Irene Kileo corroborates with Frank Msemwa that her plan this year is to achieve academic excellence.

She notes that, to achieve her goals, she will have to steer clear of bad friends, who prioritise a luxurious life on campus at the expense of good academic performance.

“At university one meets different people with diverse attitudes. So you need to make wise decisions. I don’t wait to fall into these traps,” says Kileo. She, too, echoed cries of delayed or missed loans which made life a living hell on campus.

2017 a tough year

The 2017 hard situations were almost the same to Alex Joseph, a second year student at the university of Dare es salaam.

“Among other things, he bemoaned the shortage of learning materials at the university library. Students were lectured without any hand outs, hoping that they could read for extra details in the library, which had virtually no substantive learning materials,” says Joseph.

Joseph is optimistic that the year 2018 will come with positive changes on how meaningful learning should be embraced on campus.

For Alphonce David, a Form Six student at Azania Secondary school, preparation for her finals is everything.

“Plans are on the cards. I have all learning materials at my disposal. I am set to pass my Form Six exams with flying colours,” says David, adding, “my new year’s resolution is to score division one in the upcoming Form Six exams because my dream is to become a medical doctor.” he says. However, a lecture at the Moshi Cooperative University (MoCu), Dr John Lwata, says 2018 will be a good year because plans are well set to balance theory and practice in learning.

Dr Lwata says 2017 was a busy year for him because he had a lot to accomplish at a time, adding that when the government removed workers who secured employment with fake certificates, a lot had to be done by a few remaining members of staff.

“It was a year of review. Every member of staff was forced to work hard in a fresh bid to suit the directives issued by the Tanzania Commission for Universities,” he says.

According to Dr Lwata, academicians are duty-bound to implement the curriculum while bearing in mind the government industrialisation policy.

“We need to teach according to government policy directives. Industrialization drive cannot be achieved if we fail to embrace meaningful learning in our universities. Practical learning must be every university’s motto,” he says.

According to him, the 2018 resolution is pegged on investing in research, adding that the government should cast eyes on schools which are in short of teachers, the move which will see universities receive well-cooked students from the ordinary levels.

Responding to Alex’s demand for lecturers to provide students with lesson notes, Dr Lwata notes that learners have to be acclimatized with the ways of coping with university academic life.

“Nowadays students want to get notes from their lectures but they need to cope with public lectures, the move which will help them think critically and view issues in a diverse perspective,” says the don.

On career

A human resource officer, at ThornFlexCompany, Richard Alphonce, says, 2018 should see job seekers change their notions on employability. Richard mentions three categories of job seekers as: those who are fresh from school, from those who graduated before 2017 and the rest who are looking for alternative jobs. “Starting with the ones who are fresh from school, I see them having an opportunity to decide on their career paths and mentors,” he says adding that graduates should not only look for jobs that they have passion for but rather align their own goals with their potential employer’s goals.

According to Richard, 2017 graduates and those who have been unemployed for over 2 years need to join networks associations that will serve as leverage for opportunities and connections. “They need mentors and coaches to help them concentrate on their resolutions, especially those who had undergone similar courses, a move which will sharpen their skills for securing job opportunities,” he says.

Richard calls on unemployed youth to volunteer at any organization which could, in the long run, find them as potential employees.

“I advise job seekers to crave for reading inspirational and motivational books, attend professional and career development seminars. In so doing they will be exposed to employment opportunities because mentors and coaches in those seminars are in a position to connect unemployed youth to potential employers,” Richard concludes.