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SCHOOLS JOIN JA’S PROJECT MANAGEMENT PROGRAMME

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MBABANE – At least 100 schools have signed up for the Junior Achievement (JA) Eswatini’s project management programme.

The programme, according JA’s Communications Specialist, Siphesihle Mkhonta was launched as a pilot in three schools last year, but had since expanded to cover a number of schools around the country. The three schools that had initially been chosen for the pilot phase were Manzini Nazarene high, St Theresa High, and Vulamasango High School. Mkhonta said the growth in the roll-out of the programme meant that youth in schools will be further empowered to improve their skills in company management. “This project was introduced to help build project management capacity for both JA staff and students in the coordination and management of the JA company programme. We are very pleased to have covered so many schools in the one year that we have launched. The aim is to cover as many schools as we are able to,” she said.

The new schools that have joined the program include Mbekelweni High, Mjingo High, St. Mark’s, Kobe Ramokgadi, St. Mary’s, Mantambe High, Makhosi High, and others.
Mkhonta reiterated that the project will enable both staff and students to develop their understanding of business, entrepreneurship and project management, whilst building the required skills to establish and manage a business effectively. JA is a worldwide movement committed to the development of business skills amongst the youth in schools so as to train them towards starting businesses, opposed to the searching for jobs as the job market offers very little opportunities nowadays. All JA Africa countries are piloting this project in schools and it is expected to be rolled out over the coming years. The project will ensure students demonstrate an understanding and are able to identify a business opportunity and organise resources to deliver a quality product, sell, save and reinvest in their enterprises.

Skills

Mkhonta said participants to the project will gain critical success skills in financial literacy, work readiness, project management and entrepreneurship that prepare them for the real world.
“Our target is that 90 per cent of the participants demonstrate entrepreneurship and financial knowledge and skills.  Whilst others are able to develop their employability skills, including project management skills.” The Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Trade has been visible in most JA activities in the country. This is at the realisation of the potential JA’s activities presents in terms of job creation. JA is active in many schools across all four regions of the country.

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