TUM VC, takes a lead by participating in this year’s Changamwe Career Fair held at St. Charles Lwanga Secondary school over the weekend. The annual exceptional one on one talk with students from the various secondary school in the area was organized and hosted by the member of parliament of Changamwe, to guide students on the best career paths to follow and score highly.
Most of the students showed interest in pursuing Engineering, Medicine and Health Sciences courses, were encouraged to put more effort in science subjects: Chemistry, Biology, Physics, computing and Geography subjects.
The event was organized by a Changamwe based CBO (Strong Minds Organization) whose main aim is creating academic awareness and mindset change amongst the students on careers and the courses offered at the universities and the various scholarships and bursary programs at hand, that can assist each and every student achieve their dreams.
The chief guest of honour, who graced the occasion with a lot of pomp, glitz and glamour was none other than home grown Prof. Laila Abubakar, Vice Chancellor, Technical University of Mombasa. She implored the students to direct all their energy towards their studies and take advantage of the available resources at hand, including their teachers and make sure they excel in academics. The VC urged them to shun early relationships and marriages for there is a time for everything. She advised the students against internet cyber-crimes and mind-games, that many young people are falling victims to, since they have access to internet and a lot of social media.
The VC TUM, who was the guest of honour, highlighted the fact that all dignitaries present including the host Hon. Omar Mwinyi were characterized by the same things of being Mombasa habitats, from humble backgrounds and worked extremely hard to be where they are today. “If we made it to university then despite poverty levels we were in at a time when there was only one university, it surely means you are more than capable to succeed and join the universities of your choice’’.
Prof. Laila Abubakar, lauded the member of Parliament of chamgamwe, Hon. Omar Mwinyi, for understanding his people and working with the educators, in the need to understand the context in which the students live, work and play. Without that understanding the educators work alone and not in partnership with other very important people in the students’ lives who are the parents and guardians. Without partnership, educators segment the students into school child and home child, ignoring the whole child and s/he basic needs, wants, choices and self-actualization of each student and community. .
‘’With all the various scholarships and bursaries from the national and county government, be assured that you will secure an admission at the university as long as you perform well and met the required grades of admission to the university of your choice. You only need determination, persistence, focus and a mindset to achieve. Nothing worthy of being called a success can be obtained easily’’ she said
“I urge everyone of you to uphold integrity during your final exam. I would rather have a student who genuinely did her exam and obtained a mean grade of D+ than one who cheated his or her way to obtaining a mean grade of ‘A’ For such a cheating student will never be able to perform or achieve good grades in the university.” She added
Prof. Laila Abubakar further highlighted that TUM is a technical university and TVET center of excellence, which offers its courses from craft, certificate, diploma, degree to Doctorate level. She guided the students, if they wish to shorten their academic journey, they should strive to get at least a mean grade of C+(Plus) and above to be able to start with a bachelor’s degree program.
She applauded the efforts of the member of Parliament for Changamwe, Hon. Omar Mwinyi for the academic empowerment and measures he has put in place making learning easy and affordable in Changamwe, for all pupils, students from different walks of life and very needy families.
Prof. Laila urged the congregation especially people from the coast to take full advantage of the opportunities at hand, like the new Lamu port, Mombasa port and the upcoming Shimoni port by acquiring the relevant qualifications in maritime and marine courses available in Technical University of Mombasa as a gateway to employment in any of the ports along the blue East African water line.
This year’s career Fair had a twist to it that contrasted the usual career fairs, it was dominated by highly powered female office bearers as guests, chief guests and guest of honour, who turned up in large numbers, hence the girl child empowerment agenda was very well articulated.
Ms. Sylvia Chidodo, born and raised in Changamwe and currently a county executive committee member in Kwale county government urged the candidates to have passion in their dreams by being committed and having a road map which would lead them to their desired destination and always remember to put God first in everything they do.
Echoing the same sentiments as Ms. Chidodo, was chief guest Ms. Husna Mbarak, a lawyer from the United Nations, sub-Programme leader, Governance of Natural Resources (FAO),
she reminded the students that wherever there is a choice, there is a responsibility and a consequence for each choice taken. She urged the students to work smart and make their first responsibility to be studying hard.
The career fair ended on a very high note with all the students rushing to meet and talk to Prof. Laila on a one-to-one tete-a-tete at the TUM stand which was pitched at a very strategic point on the grounds of the St. Charles Lwanga secondary school. The female students wanted to know the secret to her success in studying and becoming one of the few female professors and a vice chancellor of a technical university.