Survey reveals career classes not taken seriously

A staff member of the Matua Program explains career opportunities to students during the Careers Expo in Labasa yesterday. Picture: SERAFINA SILAITOGA

A RESEARCH carried out by the careers section of the Ministry of Education revealed that 72 secondary schools out of 176 had failed to take career classes seriously, although enlisted in the curriculum.

While opening the Careers Expo in Labasa yesterday, Government’s divisional secretary North Soko Tuima said the survey, carried out three years ago, also discovered that career classes were being used for revision or subject coverage.

Mr Tuima called on teachers to change their mind-set.

“We need to change and to conform to the changes that are coming,” he said.

“We need to start teaching and taking careers education seriously in order to ensure our children and our future leaders are ready for the future.

“Most Year 13 students are not definite of the kinds of careers that are linked to their subject combinations.”

Mr Tuima said most children were still relying on their parents to decide careers for them.

“The survey also showed that schools do not keep a database of where students have gone after completion of Year 12 or Year 13, how many secured scholarships of loans schemes and programs of studies pursued,” he said.

“The survey also revealed that Fijian children are talented, but they need to maximise these (talents) and balance with their academic abilities to go far in life.

“Most have fallen short along the way and lost their dreams due to substance abuse, peer pressure and lack of moral and financial support.”

Mr Tuima said there was a pressing need for careers and employability education to be improved in this country.

“Those set to benefit most are the poorest young people in our society and there is a need to establish a high standard of career development, beginning in the earliest grades,” he said.

“We need to start that early and we must practically equip our children with a tool from as early as kindergarten level, not at senior level.”