Problems and Prospects of Career Education

Abstract

This paper examines the problems and prospects of career education inbuilt into the Nigeria 6-3-3-4 system of education.The 6-3-3-4 system of educationwas regarded as a great innovation because it help develop studentspotential to the fullest, deemphasized mere academic education, popularized vocational education and uses career education\guidance to help students embrace careers which agrees with their ability and interest. Guidance to more rewarding careers begins from primary and terminates at the tertiary levels.The policy provisions for career education were variously described as a mere wishful thinking without the needed supports for its survival. Even with the slight adjustment on the curriculumof the secondary school level which came into operation as from year 2012, career exploration and orientation expected at this level is said to be a mirage. To redress the situation this paper offered useful suggestionsneeded to help achieve career education/guidance objectives at the four levels of Nigeria education.

Introduction

Career education asa concept according to Ochiagha (1995) embraces the basic goal of education which seeks to point out the relationship between education and work. In career education, the effort is to help individuals acquire and utilize knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to make work more meaningful, productive and satisfying part of living. This attempt helps individual’s in their career development, in making vocational choice and in developing positive attitude to work.

 According to Hohenshil and Miles (1979) career education and guidance help students in:

  1. Developing positive self-concept;
  2. Understanding himself better ;
  3. Acquiringrelevant educational and occupational information;
  4. Making career decision and
  5. Implementing decision taken regarding career choice.

 Thus both career education and career guidance assist individual to move smoothly from school to work. Career guidance according to Okon (1986) help student in understanding his abilities, interest and values. This strategy no doubt help student to have wider career knowledge,knowledge of oneself, skills and knowledge required to hold and to progress in an occupation.

 The 6-3-3-4 system of education for the first time in Nigeria is made to concerned itself with the career decision making of students.The journey to a more rewarding career is planned to begin from primary and ends in tertiary education levels. The four phases of career education| guidance in the 6-3-3-4 system of education are as follows:

6 years Primary education-                    career awareness

3 years junior secondary education-    career exploration

3 years senior secondary education-     career orientation

4 years Tertiary education-                      career specialization

Prospects and Problems of Career Awareness in the 6 years Primary Education

Primary education marked the first phase of career preparation of pupils. This type of education in the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN) (2004) National Policy on Education is education for children aged normally 6 to 11+. The rest of education system is built upon primary education. Therefore, primary level is regarded as the key to the success or failure of the whole system. Education at this level is geared towards helping pupils becoming aware of viable careers of national and individual interest. To lay the foundation for career awareness at this level instructions are directed at developing:

  1. Permanent literacy and numeracy, and the ability to communicate effectively;
  2. Citizenship education for national building;
  3. The ability to understand technological changes.

According to Okon (1986) career awareness in primary schools help:

  1. Pupils to understand himself or herself in term of interests, abilities and skills;
  2. Pupils to develop skills needed for decision making and problem solving and
  3. Inform pupils about viable careers; develop a healthy attitude toward work and a respect for work performed in the society.

 In spite of the importance attached to career awareness at these level separate studies (Azeez, 2010; Okon, 1986 &Adedibu, 1986) have shown that:

  1. Primary schools in Nigeria are ill-equipped to provide any meaningful career awareness to pupils. Suitable textbooks, equipment and libraries are inadequately provided and qualified teachers expected to improve learning and teaching process are inadequately provided.
  2. The teachers are made to cope with too many pupils’ in class as the prescribed ratio of 1:40 is always exceeded in most of the schools.
  3. Most teachers in this level lacked basic competence required of them to function effectively.
  4. Hand works needed to create sufficient career awareness were found to be less emphasis due to lack of training materials.
  5. Most primary schools lacks functional counseling unit therefore career guidance is found to be left to peer and parental influence.
  6. Education at this level is yet to be made compulsory (basic) because many potential primary candidates still roams about with no means of attending primary schools.

Prospects and Problems of Career Exploration in the 3 Years Junior Secondary Schools

Junior secondarymarked the second phase of career preparation.This level of education in the FRN (2004) is education children received after three years primary education.it is regarded as the first phase of secondary education which is of three years duration. At this level students are given an exploratory introduction into several broad occupations. Instructions in this level include theory and practical| laboratory works. Haven achieved desirable career awareness in primary level children are given opportunity to explore various career options for interest arousal in one. Education at this level is regarded pre-vocational and directed at helping student explore different career options. Integrated curriculums used at this level help students to explore viable career options. To further aid exploration processes curriculum at this level is structured as: core subjects; pre-vocational subjects and non-vocational electives (see the National Policy on Education for detail).

Specifically subjects like basic technology, basic sciences, social studies and general mathematics uses integrated curriculum and gave unrestricted opportunities to students to explore viable career options. As an illustration basic technology subject integrates subjects like technical drawing, electrical, wood tech, metal tech and others which allowed students to explore various career options for interest arousal in one.

Without this exploratory period it is believed that students may settle for an occupation which they are not mentally and emotional suited for, changing career later will be painful and wasteful because of the time and resources wasted (Azeez, 2010).

Career exploration at the JSS level according to findings of some studies (Azeez, 2010; Adedibu, 1986; Okon, 1986) is hampered because of:

  1. Poor training facilities in schools, most especially for the teaching and learning of basic technology and basic sciences subjects. For instance integrated workshops and laboratories which are essential for effective teaching of basic technology\sciences are found to be lacking in most of the schools and where such exist they are found to be poorly equipped and maintained;
  2. Poorly qualified teachers;
  3. Lack of field trip to complement what is taught in class;
  4. Lack of and sometimes insufficient training materials to support any meaningful workshops and laboratories works.

Prospects and Problems of Career Orientation in the 3 Years Senior Secondary Schools

Phase three of career education program is regarded as the vocational phase where students select and explore one cluster or broad occupational group in great detail. At this stage student may acquire some specialized skills. Emphasis here is on assisting each student to acquire the skills and knowledge that are required for employment in a specific occupation. Students also take science and arts courses which would enable him continue their studies beyond secondary school should they want to do so. This level of education is regarded in FRN (2004) as a 3 years education children received after junior secondary education and before the tertiary education. The senior secondary school curriculum is designed to be comprehensive enough so as to broaden children knowledge and outlook.

 In order to orientate students towards a particular career having gone through exploratory experiences in the JSS level, children are exposed to both core-curriculum and electives. This exposure enables students to offer either arts or science in line with their ability and interest. To make senior secondary school immediately employable, technical, commercial and other vocational courses were made part of this level curriculum.

 Every student at this level is expected to take all the core subjects and to select 3 electives depending on the choice of his career. This is done with a view to orientate students towards science, technology or art in line with student interest, ability and values.

Major flaws identify with the senior secondary schools education delivery which hindered effective orientation towards a career that agrees with student make-up includes:

  1. Training provided to students cannot guarantee immediate employment as suggested in the National Policy on Education;
  2. Training resources (human and material) provided cannot guarantee sufficient orientation towards a particular career;
  3. Enough funds are not available to cater for the needs of secondary education;
  4. Guidance and counseling unit in most of the schools are not functional enough as students career choice still depend on peer and parental influence;
  5. In-service needed to boost teachers competence are scarcely available and
  6. Teachers are made to cope with too many students in class above the prescribed ratio of 1:30.

 Prospects and Problems of Career Specialization in the 4 years Higher Education

Higher education is referred to in the FRN (2004) as 4 years educational system at the post-secondary section which is given in universities, polytechnics, colleges of technology, colleges of education and allied colleges. The teaching and research which this level is expected to focus on have an important role to play in national development particularly in development of high level manpower within the context of the needs of the economy.

As a way of ensuring career specialization at this level of education, course content is made to reflect students and national needs. To meet these needs consultation is encouraged between the higher education institutions, the employers and the government. With this attempt training is made to be broad based, strong, scientific and specifically geared towards:

  1. Producing a practical persons;
  2. Exposure to the environment in which graduates will eventually work. This is accomplished through Student Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES), field trip and National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) which are used to bridge gaps between theory and practice;
  3. Research works and
  4. Exposure to the latest professional techniques.

In-spite of all the aforementioned moves, higher education delivery in Nigeria has been identified with deficiencies hindering career specialization of students such as:

  1. Insufficient funds to support meaningful teaching and learning, research activities and training facilities;
  2.  Limited opportunities existed in Nigeria tertiary institutions to provide unhindered access to qualified candidates;
  3. Gab still exist in the education provided in schools and the reality of the actual work;
  4. Student are not adequately guided to obtain all the information needed for effective career specialization;
  5. Funds available are most a times misappropriated or wrongly used and
  6. Counseling unit in most of the institutions only existed by names and does not necessary help in building career prospects of students.
  7. Greater percentage of educational expenditure are not devoted to science and technology;
  8. The ratio of science to liberal arts students still exceeded the prescribed 60:40;
  9. Unhindered access are not given to candidates that can benefit from higher education and
  10. Scholarship and loans are scarcely provided to assist indigent but bright students to gain access to higher education anywhere in the world, provided the institution is accredited for the course;

Donate food for education

‘Unlimited food for education’ is the motto of The Akshaya Patra Foundation. This Foundation is an Indian NGO implementing the mid-day meal programme since 14 years. Mid-day meal scheme is a Government of India initiative to provide free school lunch to the children of Government schools. By implementing this programme Akshaya Patra aims to provide sumptuous lunch for the school children so that it will aid in eliminating classroom hunger and also bring in more and more children to school thereby furthering the cause of education too. Hence, by providing food for education this NGO is steering its efforts towards a healthy and educated generation.

Currently, Akshaya Patra is providing food for education to 1.4 million children across the states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Telangana. Covering 23 locations across these states this NGO serves 10,661 Government schools every day. While implementing the food for education programme, Akshaya Patra receives aid in the form of Government subsidies and grants, and corporate and individual donors. Realising the significance of this support, Akshaya Patra has created a platform where a supporter can choose to donate in honour oftheir near and dear ones. The donation can be done through online donation for charity mode or offline donation mode depending on the comfort and convenience of the donor.

When you choose to donate in honour of someone, you are not only offering your respect and gratitude to a person but also becoming an angel for many children who are denied of their basic rights to food and education. You become a catalyst of change by your contribution of offline or online donation for charity.Most often we get so busy with our daily chores that we become ignorant about our responsibilities for the society. Akshaya Patra thus always encourages and provides opportunity for you to participate in this programme through your skill, time, or financial resource. Akshaya Patra provides a platform for you through its many Get involved activities to join the mission of providing food for education to the millions of underserved children who step into the school with the hope of getting food first and then education.

Contributing donation in honour of is definitely a heart-warming decision. It provides a sense of compassion and ‘able to relate’ feel within us. We can also choose to support the mission of mid-day meal programme by opting for online donation for charity as a part of birthday celebrations, weddings, anniversaries, festivals and functions. Occasions are many; it just requires our presence of mind and willingness to participate in the progress and development of the society.

Elementary Education

Elementary education becomes even more important as the years go by, because everyone realizes how it sets the foundation of much more learning to follow. This puts even more pressure on elementary school teachers in their quest to succeed with each child in their class. Here we shall take a look at how elementary education has changed for both students and teachers of this age group.

Elementary education is something we have all gone through, and it is something that may have shaped our lives forever. Through the elementary school program we all began to learn more about ourselves and the world, as our horizons were extended beyond the home to take in the school environment, and from there, the world grew even more as we discovered and were taught about other cities, and other countries.

So how does elementary education shape a child’s life? When a child attends elementary school, the world of the child changes. Having depended on their parents from birth, suddenly they have someone else in their lives, their class teacher. This teacher holds the future of that child in their hands to some extent, because how the child reacts to that teacher, and vice versa, can influence the child, his or her ability to learn, and his or her love of learning.

When children attend kindergarten, their learning begins in earnest, with learning the basics like the alphabet and the number system, and the learning continues at a fast pace for most of the children. However, if there is a dislike between the child and his teacher, then this may result in the child not learning as well as he should.

Knowing as we do that education is a like a tower of building blocks, we know how important those first few blocks are. The rest of the education of each child is built on the first few years, and how the child handles learning and how to deal with mistakes really can affect him well into his future.

This means that the role of the kindergarten teacher and the first grades is so important. There has to be plenty of encouragement with all aspects of learning, and the children have to learn that mistakes are often made by most people, but they can be corrected, and can learn from them. The very basics that are taught there need to be learned thoroughly in the first grades, so that they can be built on effectively. We all know, for example, that it is important to start reading at an early age, and children who cannot read do tend to struggle in the school system where so much depends on reading and writing.

And of course the value of knowing the number system, and being able to use numbers correctly is also of great importance, since these are used more and more as the children grow older. For children to progress, they need to understand the basics, and without this, they can become a problem in the classroom as they get bored and are unable to accomplish tasks set for them.

This makes the job of the elementary school teacher extremely important, and that in turn means that the training of these teachers has to be thorough, giving student teachers the skills they need to cope with the ever changing classroom dynamics. At one time, the life of a teacher was easier, in that all the children in a class spoke the same language, but nowadays, any one classroom can have children who speak a different language at home, so not only are they having to learn to read and write in the elementary classroom, but they also have to learn another language, one that is not necessarily used at home.

For English as a second language students, the teacher has to be able to encourage their use of English at school, and somehow, find the time to give them individual attention. If any of these children struggle with any of the basics, the elementary school teacher needs to help that child as much as possible so that they do not start to fall behind the rest of the class.

The result of all of this is that the elementary teachers have a great deal of responsibility for getting their class successfully through the necessary curriculum, so that the following year, the next teacher can do the same, building on the knowledge of the previous year. Should any child fall behind, through sickness, or any other reason, then every effort has to be made by the teacher to help that child catch up and understand the lessons that have been missed.

But the life of an elementary school teacher is not all about imparting knowledge. Elementary education also involves helping children become good citizens, which requires the elementary school teacher to spend time helping students with this important aspect of education. This means that the elementary teacher has a great deal of responsibility, an enormous task, and a task that is not always appreciated by others who consider the life of a teacher to be a very easy job. A teacher’s life can be very stressful, dealing with children from widely differing backgrounds, helping them with language difficulties, and helping the parents too understand what is happening in their child’s life at school. Of course with language difficulties, this becomes even more of a challenge for the elementary teachers.

As you can see, elementary education is full of challenges, for the school teachers as well as the students, but they are challenges that are eagerly faced by teachers and students alike.

Early Childhood Education

Preschool education is the basic step for each and every parent and proper care is also important for the betterment of children. It is commonly regarded as early childhood education. Children are prepared for learning since birth. Experts agree that the ideal preschool must follow the learning style of the child and individual skills which is the best possible way for proper development of children. Most parents start asking friends and neighbors in the old fashioned way. This is always difficult to consider or tell that which preschool is right for your child. A good reputable and trustworthy preschool is essential for the proper care and development of a child.

Find out if the preschool center, visitors can see at any moment, your standards for curriculum, faculty and staff friendly and, above all, trust your intuition. A teacher must have a bachelor degree in education from early childhood if it is going to understand how children learn and grow, but many schools do not have this requirement.

A preschool education with a well preserved environment and well educated teachers who have ideas skills and conceptions to implement good lessons and make children a good human being is the ideal place for every parent. Another most important thing to remember is that children should have fun and entertain as well not only the work because children are still very young, and even if education is even more important, is not to overwhelm.

The Jewish preschool helps to understand children what are their religious value of the Judaism. Early childhood education provides the foundation for a lifelong learning as well as social and academic success. Hillel, a Jewish community day school, seeks to create a nurturing, respectful and academically inspiring environment, imbued with traditional Torah values and designed for college preparation and admission. By engaging students in vibrant Torah study and meaningful religious and cultural experiences, we strive to deepen their commitment to Judaism, the Jewish people and the State of Israel. Thereby, the torah values are efficient to enable next generation to consider Judaism as more than a religion of theory but as a practical way of life as well.

The main idea behind all above is to say that children need a safe and nurturing environment where they can expand and explore freely to learn. Your child is precious and there is need of proper care before entrusting them to the care of someone.