Appeal for greater focus on career guidance in schools
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SOS Children's Villages is calling for more time to be allocated to career guidance in schools and at career expos as a way to help pupils make wise choices about their future.
A pupil's subject choice is one of the factors that have significant implications in terms of career choice and a successful future career.
One of the first considerations is realistic, guided and informed subject choice to be implemented in grades 10 to 12, based on information and learning in grades 7 to 9.
In Grade 9, one of the five topics discussed in Life Orientation (LO) is Career Guidance, which is placed under World of Work.
Out of the 70 hours per year allocated to LO, only 11 hours are for World of Work, compared to 35 given to Physical Education (PT).
The other three topics in LO are: Development of the self in society, which is allocated 10 hours; Health, social and environmental responsibility - allocated 7 hours and; constitutional rights and responsibilities, allocated 7 hours.
The 11 hours focused on World of Work is further divided, leaving career and subject choices with only three hours a year.
Looking at the amount of time allocated to career guidance, one would wonder how much of these few hours are actually honoured. Do children and teachers attach any level of seriousness to the subject that is so critical to a future career?
If wrong subject choices are made, it likely leads to incorrect career choices, leading to a waste of resources.
One might say that many institutions of higher learning and other non-government institutions offer services of career guidance but the question remains whether poor children in rural areas can access these services.
The fact is current school goers in disadvantaged areas find it difficult to access career expos.
Some of the information is accessible through internet whereas disadvantaged children lack connectivity and tools to connect.
SOS is therefore, appealing for more time to be allocated to career guidance in the school curriculum and for organisers of career expos to think of ways to make their services accessible to to disadvantaged children living in remote areas of South Africa, to better equip them on career choices.