The Deficiency and the Danger

Some of us probably had a sense of direction of what we wanted to be in life early enough. Maybe some had such an orientation as early as elementary school; and some, arguably though, before then. Again, others may have been given some form of guidance about possible options to consider for their future, based on their aptitude, inclinations or taste of their parents/guardians/mentors.

Nevertheless, in the case of many kids in some portions of the world, like Cameroon for an example, it seems that they grow up and go to school simply because kids normally go to school if their parents/guardians can afford. It seems like an ordinary thing that kids would normally do at a given age. But is that all? Just going to school? It does not look right at all.

What Motives

Why go to school? Why go to this particular school and not the other? Why choose to offer these subjects instead of the others? Is it harmful for students to avoid particular subjects because they are ‘science-inclined’ or ‘arts-inclined’? Why get into this field and not the other one?

A few years ago, we were shocked to meet teenagers in High School who did not know what they wanted to be/do in future. And in the case of such, they would probably wait for their end of course examination, the Advanced Level Certificate Examination, and choose what to do subsequently in university, based on their performance.

Yours truly barely missed a punch sometime ago for saying that a good number of those employed in certain sectors such as education and health might never have really intended to work there, but went as a second option or last resort in some cases. Those are only two possible examples, subject to more research.

Serious Deficiency

The insufficiency – and this word is used only for the purpose of not saying ‘lack’ – of guidance-counselling and career orientation is a great problem. It looks to be the reason why many children are in general education programmes, and why many can’t create jobs and grab certain jobs after university; they simply went to school.

One would expect, for instance, that based on the academic inclination and aptitude of the students, they would be advised, together with their parents/guardians, on what would be more suited for the children. And furthermore, future possibilities would be made known to the students, and they would choose their subject combinations for High School based on their aptitude and career orientation. It is sad that many students get to High School without knowing this.

Of course, there are professional guidance counsellors in many Secondary and High Schools, especially public schools. Let them not take this too personal: it is a thought and a food for thought. It seems that not much is actually happening around with respect to guidance counselling. And if things are not turned around, if this were to be true, then things look to get worse, as the paucity would keep being recycled.

Forgive us if we are wrong, and kindly counter this in the comment section of this post – of course without attacking anyone.

This was first published on Facebook on 22 May 2018

Category: Reflection, Opinion Piece

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