‘Parents input key in career choices’

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Pascalinah Kabi

A LOCAL psychological services firm, Mind Liberation Psychological Consultancy (MLPSC) has called for a holistic approach which involves learners, teachers, communities, other professionals and parents in learners’ career choices.

MLPSC project officer, Kudakwashe Chidhakwa said this in an interview with the Lesotho Times ahead of their annual career expo held in collaboration with the Mandela Rhodes Foundation.

This year the expo will be held in five districts from 20 to 24 March under the theme “The ball is in your court”.

In Thaba-Tseka, the expo will be held on 20 March at Pitso House, followed by Butha-Buthe on 21 March at Sofia English Medium School and Berea on 22 March at Assumption High School.

Quthing will follow on 23 March at Holy Trinity High School and Maseru (Manthabiseng Convention Centre) will be last.

Mr Chidhakwa said the expo, whose primary target was Form E learners, was expected to attract 20 South African universities, local institutions and the private sector.

Mr Chidhakwa said it was important that parents accompany their children to the expo to ensure that they fully understand their children’s career choices and support their decisions.

He said this would enable children to own their own decisions and work hard to make something out of their lives.

“Through our observations and interactions with teachers in the past years we have identified that there are gaps within the education system,” Mr Chidhakwa said, adding, “Some of these gaps are lack of parental involvement in their children’s education and that has been evident throughout the expos as parents are not attending expos with their children”.

He said that if parents attend these expos with their children it would be easier for them to understand a learner’s career choice and support them along this life-changing journey.

Mr Chidhakwa further stated that the country’s education system needed a holistic approach where every stakeholder actively played their role in ensuring that children were prepared for life after school.

He said at the moment stakeholders were concentrating on giving children a better education, leaving out some of the critical aspects needed for one to become a complete human being.

He said some of these critical aspects included mental health and behavioural therapy which must be aligned to the human being’s full development.

“The country is purely focusing on academic development and the fact that not every unemployed youth working in the streets were those that failed academically shows that something is lacking,” he said.

He therefore appealed to parents to be fully and personally involved in their children’s lives as this would help spot difficulties at much earlier stage and help address such problems.

“Africa is actually at the crisis point in terms of mindset management and developmental process of a child. There is a serious mindset management needed urgently to address these challenges. A lot of coaching from professionals is required,” he said.

Mr Chidhakwa said the expos were designed to address these challenges, by including counselling services, discussions around life-skills programmes, sexual health reproductive (SRH) services as well career guidance.

He also said they were encouraging schools to hold their own personalised career expos to ensure that students were helped to shape their career choices from secondary level.

Mr Chidhakwa said unlike many career expos held only in Maseru, his company’s expos sought to accommodate learners from hard to reach areas by moving into other districts.

For those seeking to advance their education but facing financial difficulties, Mr Chidhakwa said world-famous South African universities like Cape Town, Fort Hare, Rhodes, Stellenbosch and Free State would not be coming to only talk about their courses but also about offering scholarships.

He said this was conceived after the realisation that some of the challenges the youth were facing had to with lack of access to information.

He urged parents to help their children utilise technology to access useful information from the internet instead of being glued to unhelpful content on social media.

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