Career guidance gives learners much-needed leg-up
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LEARNERS at Thuto Lefa Secondary School in Lawley, south of Lenasia, were this week given advice by various professionals on career paths to follow after matric.
The Lawley Youth Foundation (LYF), through its partnership with various stakeholders, presented the LYF Career Day Expo 2021, an initiative to make a difference in the local community through education and skills development.
Tertiary institutions, private companies and social institutions were invited to showcase their offerings to pupils and show them the various options they have available for their future.
The expo opened on Friday at the Thuto Lefa Secondary and ended yesterday at the Lawley Primary School with the community at large participating.
Thembekile Nhlapo from LYF said they looked to bridge the skills gaps within the community and more.
“We want to bring innovation with skills transfer to meet the fourth industrial revolution within the community, to provide academic tutoring to community or schools, by utilising available resources and the community e.g. maths and science etc., and to provide home-based primary skills and technical skills to enhance or help the community with basic needed skills e.g., plumbing and sowing,” said Nhlapho.
The school is riddled with many challenges, with a lack of resources very evident.
Dr Lungile Sithole, the director of the UJ Soweto Science Centre, was there to provide information and assistance to learners.
“We run a couple of programmes such as the Learner Intervention Programme. We help kids from grades 10, 11, and 12 with Maths, Science, Life Sciences, and Physical Science.
“We help them improve their marks, so we work as an after-school programme. In addition to that, we expose learners to things they wouldn’t have been exposed to in their own schools, so we take them to labs and take them on excursions that are related to education,” she said.
They also help learners with applying to tertiary institutions.
“We are currently helping learners apply for 2022. Most of them don’t have technology so they struggle to do it at home. The process is long so it can be a bit frustrating for them.”
Sithole added that many of the learners in the school had a poor academic record which made it hard for them to qualify for the courses they wish to take.
According to Professor Kobus Maree, from the department of educational psychology at the University of Pretoria, it was vital for learners to choose subjects that are aligned with their field of study.
“Learners need to take into account the field of study they want to go into and choose their subjects accordingly. We need to keep in mind though that the personality profile stabilises between grade 11 and 12, so assessing people while they are in grade 9, you need to be careful.
“Learners have to make sure along the way that if they want to become a medical doctor, they have to pass mathematics and physical science,” said Maree.
Professor Ramodungoane Tabane, chairperson of the department of psychology of education at Unisa, said it was important for learners in Grade 9 to have been exposed to different subjects prior to Grade 10.
“Hence they undertake so many subjects pre Grade 10. When they get to Grade 9 and they select a subject for the following year (Grade 10) they are informed. They should have with their life orientation teacher spoken to their academic performance per subject and the careers that they would like to follow,” he said.
TVET colleges have been regarded as having low career entry qualifications and this is further from the truth, said Tabane.
“In the TVET colleges, you find a good spectrum of career fields that cater for learners from different educational and social backgrounds. As we spoke to the different fields that the curriculum speaks to, you will find in this stream, learners are excellent in Business; Artistic and Social fields.
“In this qualification we find people running successful businesses like plumbing; ICT businesses like installing related infrastructure; social and education care like edu-care; successful beauty salons/products etc.”
So how can universities play a role to guide learners better when making a choice on what to study after high school?
“In most cases as registration is done online, there are also frequently asked questions and in most cases, a degree being offered is coupled with additional information as to types of careers that one is likely to enter upon completion.
“It is thus important for learners to read and where possible call the counselling centres at the universities for assistance because there are educational psychologists and career practitioners at hand to assist,” explained Tabane.