Thursday, 03 June 2021

Pretoria: The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR) Postdoctoral Researcher, Dr Advaita Singh, has encouraged the youth to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the CSIR.

“The CSIR offers a number of opportunities for people whether it is to study at universities through bursaries or shadowing one of our scientists,” Singh said on Thursday.

He was participating in a webinar on the role of youth in the fight against COVID-19 hosted by Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), in partnership with Agape Youth Movement.

The webinar took place as South Africa commemorates Youth Month under the theme, ‘The Year of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke: Growing youth employment for an inclusive and transformed society.”

The CSIR offers various programmes for students that include bursaries, internships, local scholarships, studentships and the Department of Science and Innovation -CSIR Inter-bursary support programme.

The CSIR bursary programme financially supports full-time, unemployed students in obtaining qualifications in areas that are deemed a priority by the CSIR.

“The internship programme provides new graduates the opportunity to gain 12 months working experience in a research environment, affording them the opportunity to grow core research skills under the guidance of more experienced professionals.

“The CSIR, in partnership with seven South African universities, has a postgraduate scholarship programme that provides students with funding to obtain Honours, Masters or PhD qualifications in their chosen fields.

“The programme is open to full-time students in the Faculty of Science or Engineering, carrying out research in priority areas identified by the CSIR.  The programme affords students exposure to science in a research environment and students are also granted access to equipment, facilities and research material as available,” the CSIR said.

Singh said young people can visit https://www.csir.co.za/careers to find out more information about opportunities offered by the CSIR.

“Sciences is not always the first option when it comes to choosing careers, but it is an important avenue and we need scientists for the future,” he said.

He called on the public to take the COVID-19 vaccine while emphasising its safety as trials were conducted.

The vaccines have been tested in large trials and subjected to a rigorous approval process by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority and by a number of health authorities around the world.

South Africa is currently in the second phase of the vaccination programme, targeting the balance of health workers who were not vaccinated during the first phase, and all those in the country who are over 60 years of age.

During the lockdown, the Agape Youth Movement worked closely with the Department of Basic Education to provide support to children who might have been vulnerable as they were not in school.

“We rolled out a series of online dialogues with children focusing on raising awareness on some of the psychosocial social support systems that are available for them. These were hosted at numerous provinces.

“Learner interacted with government, civil society and the private sector. Through these initiatives we gave learners a voice about how they found the pandemic and how their needs and interests should be fulfilled,” Managing Director of the movement Matsetsebale Tleane said.

Currently the Agape Youth Movement is rolling out an online life skills programme that learners attend over a period of 18 days.

Learners receive training on leadership skills, communication skills, bullying, gender-based violence (GBV) and navigating online spaces safely.

This programme is being implemented in partnership with the Department of Basic Education, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Media Monitoring Africa, the South African Police Service (SAPS) and Google SA.