Academic focus and performance are expected to improve among students at Mkwero Community Day Secondary School (CDSS) in Salima district following mentorship sessions the students have recently had.
Spearheaded by a nonprofit organization, Education Support Initiative (ESI) along with a team of mentors comprising students from several universities in the country, the secondary school students have been drilled in skills that are believed to be powerful instruments for complementing everyday academic activities.
The topics mentored among the students included how to resist peer pressure, improve academic excellence, time management and setting smart goals.
Chairperson for ESI, Samuel Malasa Banda, notes that the students may have access to fees and free education but fail to make progress in their academics due to lack of encouragement.
“We brought together these university students to inspire the kids and we believe this has been a success,” said Malasa.
Malasa added that his organization plans to take mentorship sessions to at least 20 secondary schools in Salima, one each week. He has highlighted that there are a lot more students lacking the opportunity those in Mkwero have had.
Weighing in her views, Head teacher for Mkwero CDSS, Esmy Chamdimba, believes focus among her students has indeed been reinstalled following the mentorship sessions.
“When these students are in school, they mostly take it for granted and barely know what the future has for them. The importance of mentorship lies in the fact that the school is just a system to guide them to their goals but the future is basically in their hands,” stressed Chamdimba.
Mkwero CDSS students who have been mentored have since expressed optimism towards their future after getting such lessons from the sessions. They believe they have found missing keys for unlocking the doors to their academic excellence.
“This mentorship session has helped me a lot and has changed my mindset because I was doing most things unknowingly,” emphasized form four student at the school, Luka Mayaza.
Founded in 2017, Education Support Initiative focuses on finding sponsors who can pay fees for deprived students in CDSS’ and boarding schools in Salima as well as mentoring them.