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Career guidance not for teachers alone

For Career guidance is vital in equipping students with the right information regarding the professions that they may wish to join in future. If it is carried out effectively, it helps the learners to study with a clear sense of direction in pursuit of their aspirations.
Students learnign about a career in journalism, The New Times/ Courtesy.
Students learnign about a career in journalism, The New Times/ Courtesy.

For Career guidance is vital in equipping students with the right information regarding the professions that they may wish to join in future. If it is carried out effectively, it helps the learners to study with a clear sense of direction in pursuit of their aspirations.

The choices that they make today determine the kind of people they will be tomorrow. This calls for comprehensive career guidance.

I acknowledge the role that teachers and school administrators play in helping learners to make good career choices but I think that it is prudent to involve other people as well.

I have been in schools where professionals from various fields have created a big impact on the learners through career talks. This has always given chance to the young people to hear from the horse’s mouth issues related to the various careers.

The professionals that may be considered for career talks include doctors, lawyers, engineers, accountants, journalists, music artists, fashion designers, drama actors, nurses, technicians and fine artists among others.

Such people have a lot of information regarding their professions that inspire the young people to pursue their dreams with enthusiasm. It only requires proper programming such that a guest speaker from a given field is invited to deliver a career talk once in a while.

Take an example of a situation where the school invites a medical doctor to talk to the learners about the medical profession. The doctor takes them through what it takes for one to become a doctor and a lot of other information pertaining to the medical profession.

Students get the opportunity to ask the doctor questions about certain issues that may not be clear to them as regards the profession. This strategy can inspire many young people to develop interest in the profession and work towards becoming doctors as well. It also helps in promoting science subjects in schools.

Other professionals such as lawyers, journalists and accountants may also help the learners who may not be gifted in science subjects to attain success. There are many students who study under duress after falling out with their parents on issues concerning subject combination selection at advanced level.

Some parents force their children to pursue science combinations at advanced level just because they want them to become doctors and engineers even when the children express discomfort with such subjects.

They forget that scientists are not the only successful people in society. Therefore, professionals who succeeded after pursuing arts courses help in restoring confidence among arts students. Students realize that they too can succeed in life and become famous in the society.

Old boys and girls should be encouraged to form associations whereby they can always program and visit their former schools and conduct career talks. The old students can share a lot about their high school experiences, how they dealt with the challenges and how they were able to realise their career dreams.

They can easily motivate the young people to dedicate their time to studies. The two groups are able to connect with one another easily because they belong to the same category of young people with quite similar interests.

Celebrities in music, drama, fashion and design, fine art and sports can also offer career guidance to the young learners. They appeal to the young people and when they talk to them about their professions and what they have gone through to succeed, it energises the young people to set their goals and work towards achieving them. They also realize the need to develop talent and pursue talent based professions as well.

Therefore, it is important for schools to have inclusive career guidance programs that cater for the various professionals in the field of work.

The writer is a teacher at Riviera High School

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