400 students benefit from entrepreneurial and skills programme 

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By Darlington Gatsi

OVER 400 students from across the country have participated in this year’s edition of the Junior Achievement Zimbabwe’s (JAZ) entrepreneurship and management skills program as it bounced back from a two year COVID-19 induced hiatus.

The entrepreneurship and management skills program is a brainchild of JAZ, in conjunction with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, which aims to equip students with entrepreneurial skills.

The 2022 edition’s curtain came down in Harare,Friday, with students vying for investment injection into various business ideas and an automatic ticket to represent Zimbabwe at the regional level in Nigeria.

Maranatha Christian School students – Tinovimba Sagonda, Shingirai Muchingu, Blessing Bvunzawabaya and Kudzai Katanda – walked away with the honours in this year’s installment.

Representing the students, Kudzai Katanda was ecstatic for clinching the sole ticket to represent the country at the regional competition in Nigeria.

“I am still in shock. I can not believe we have won the competition. From the lower competition to the provincial competition, it was tough. We presented a learning application that can solve some of the challenges being faced by students in the country. Qualifying to the regional competition means more pressure on us but we are up for it,” said Katanda

The Maranatha Christian School students presented a COVID-19 inspired learning application that aims to bridge the gap between teachers and students especially in times of pandemics.

The program also challenges students to be innovative in solving challenges that the society faces, with the 2022 edition financially oiled by Project Management institute Nedbank, Minerva Risk Advisors and Nestle.

Speaking on behalf of the Primary, Secondary and Non-Formal Education Department, Absalom Chinoona said the skills gained in the program will arm students in the creation of employment.

“You will enter a workforce where you are not just competing with students from your school and across the country or with young people in Africa. You will be competing with young people from all across the world. In order to survive and thrive in that workforce, you will need to have knowledge and skills which set you far apart from other entrants.

“Unfortunately, there will likely not be enough opportunities to accommodate all new entrants. You may not find jobs that suit your skills. You may need to create jobs for yourselves, and even for others. You may need to become an entrepreneur.”