“I am going to senior four next year and I don’t think I have decided on the right subjects to take. My parents want me to do science subjects but I hate chemistry. So how am I going to do the sciences without chemistry,” pondered Kagina Justin, a senior three student at APECOM.
This young man does not seem to know what next step he is supposed to be taking as he advances in high school. There is nobody close to him, be it a teacher or a parent, to guide him.
Kagina experience is not isolated; many students in Rwanda struggle to make academic decisions. Students have to be helped by teachers so that they do not make uninformed decisions.
In order to bring about complete clarity in the mind of the student, career counselling should be effected early, as soon as the student takes admission, and not at the end of the course.
When the student learns about their aptitude well in advance, they can concentrate on their identified direction and excel at it, rather than flounder through all the courses only to find in the end what they should have concentrated upon. Most schoolteachers unfortunately do not know the dynamics involved in career guidance.
“Our students are normally advised on what subjects to do when they finish ordinary level,” claimed one teacher at Green Hills Academy in Kigali. But this is too late.
Career counselling is an extremely vast area, where no matter how much you do, you will still have lots left to do. The effort should always be focused in such a way that the student can make an accurate informed decision of the best possible match of a job with his/her aptitude and knowledge.
When this happens, our children will have an exceptionally well-settled professional in future.