Too little time allocated for career guidance in the school curriculum: Children not adequately prepared for careering
A learner’s subject choice is one of the factors that have significant implications in terms of career choice and successful future career. One of the first considerations is realistic, guided and informed subject choice to be implemented in grade grades 10 to 12, based on information and learnings in grades seven to nine.
In grade nine, 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 I) Development of the self in society- 10 hrs, ii) Health, social and environmental responsibility- 7hrs and iii) constitutional rights and responsibilities – 7hrs.
The 11 hours 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 the 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 the internet whereas disadvantaged children lack connectivity and tools to connect.
We call for more time in the classroom to be allocated to career guidance and organisers of career expos to think of a way to take the services to these disadvantaged children living in remote areas of South Africa, to better equip these children to make wise choices of careers they want to pursue.