The dreams of 65 pupils who took part in this year's Public Works School Intervention Programme were realised when they graduated yesterday.
The pupils, from Madzuma and Chayaza High Schools in Mkhuhlu near Hazyview, successfully completed a programme aimed at exposing pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds to careers in the construction field.
Public works MEC Madala Masuku congratulated the graduates. He said Cuban professionals had to be employed to work with the students because of the scarcity of skills in the country.
"Go back to your communities to inform and educate your peers on what you have learned during the programme," Masuku said.
"We have given you quality time to study outside the busy life in your communities and you should use it."
Masuku said the programme included visits to various organisations so that participants could experience the practical application of maths and science in construction-related work.
The participants aalso visited Delta Motors to witness the process of manufacturing batteries.
The students proceeded to the Komati Power Station near Middelburg, where they were introduced to electrical engineering. They also visited the 2010 Mbombela Stadium that is under construction.
Reflecting on the experience Nomsa Ndlovu could not hide her excitement.
"I am so happy about this programme," Ndlovu said. "It has taught us a lot and gave us time to study in a good environment.
"My dream was to be an electrical engineer but I did not have in-depth information about this field.
"After visiting the Komati Power Station I know more about electrical engineering and can now appreciate the practical side of it.
"I am going to study hard to get a bursary from the government to study engineering."