EXPERT VOICE: Show your child the beauty of vocational education

My child's performance is very poor and I think he should go to a vocational school instead of A'level. How can I tell him my decision without being misunderstood?

My child’s performance is very poor and I think he should go to a vocational school instead of A’level. How can I tell him my decision without being misunderstood?



Dear Titus,


It’s great that you’re focusing your attention on identifying the right career for your child. However I have to first dispel the idea that your child should join a vocational school as a result of his poor performance. This myth is common among many parents who view vocational education as an escape route for ‘failures’.

Joyce Kirabo

The term ‘vocational’ actually means ‘work-related’. So if your child does a vocational course it means he is learning skills that will help him become a global competitor in the job market. Vocational education is not an ‘easier’ alternative to joining A-level; it is something that provides people with practical skills and knowledge that they need to apply in real life.

To get him embrace your idea, you should sit down with your child and explain in a very friendly way the benefits of acquiring technical skills in this modern era. Show him how the speed of a nation’s development is directly related to the quantity and quality of vocational skills possessed by its workforce. The higher the quality of vocational skills, the faster society grows.

Explain to him that he can still get a degree in any area he chooses to pursue. Vocational education and conventional qualifications should be seen as complementary, not mutually exclusive. A top surgeon who goes for a course to get up to speed with the latest techniques is learning skills that they will use in their work. It’s no different from someone taking a vocational course.

Also, explain to him the areas on high demand and encourage him to be more positive about this career.

The writer is a counsellor


David Gakunzi

David Gakunzi      

Make the child understand that all paths are equally good. Tell him that vocational schools are a shortcut to achieving one’s dreams because they offer skills which are on high demand. One can also create their own jobs.

Gisanura Christian

Gisanura Christian   

 Before you rush to make that decision, first know why the child fails in class and find him teachers to coach him in areas where he is weak. If all fails, take him to a school that will develop his talent.

Dorothy Mutabazi      

First appreciate his efforts and then get his view on joining a vocational school. 

Dorothy Mutabazi

Convince him that a vocational school is not for failures and give him examples of successful people who took that path.

Mark Gonza Robert.              

If your relationship with your child is based on trust, it should be easy to convince your child to go to a vocational school.

If they trust you, they will not doubt your desire to see them succeed. First win his trust if it’s not there.

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