In an effort to assist learners identify the ideal career paths based upon personal skills and abilities, the Gauteng Education Department has launched a career counselling and education programme for secondary schools.
Provincial Education MEC Barbara Creecy explained that the programme is specifically created for Grades 8 and 9 learners and brings about a combined effort from teachers, learners and their parents to collectively identify the career paths that best suit the learner’s individual abilities, interests and goals.
“We all know how important choosing a set of subjects in Grade 10 is for completing matric and pursuing an education or work opportunity, when you leave school. The programme focuses on empowering learners and parents to choose the right combination of subjects that will open opportunities after they leave school,” Creecy explained.
Creecy pointed out the fact that via schools, government offers options to determine a learner’s future by providing several services and interventions to make sure that they successfully develop and cultivate their potential, talents and skills which will allow them to choose a career path and achieve success post-schooling life.
The Education Department will also be offering learners in Grade 10 the alternative of choosing between completing a general National Senior Certificate or a Technical and Vocation National Senior Certificate. This is going to provide Grade 9 learners the option of going to an FET college to follow a vocational pathway or attending a technical high school to follow a rigorous maths, science and technological subject direction.
Furthermore, the department is going to be providing supplementary education programmes on weekends and school holidays, to make sure that pupils are successful. The programme is focused on complementing the work carried out in schools by means of extra tuition and materials in 10 subjects, the location where the provincial failure rates are the highest.
She continued to spell out that the programmes also include things like digital and audio-visual materials, study guides and career education materials.
Creecy assured learners and parents that all levels of government is working with communities and families to ensure that it is achievable to obtain the best education.
“I expect you to get serious this year. I expect you to put your best effort into everything you do; I expect great things from each of you… so, don’t let us down. Do not let your family or your country or yourself down… make us all proud. I know you can do it,” Creecy encouraged the learners who attended the summit.
Creecy pointed out the fact that the 2012 Secondary School Improvement Programme (SSIP) programme had grown this past year, and was working with nearly 300 000 learners in Grades 8 to 12 and the number of schools had grown from 334 to 366.
Feedback coming from learners has been positive and they are excited about the impact the programme will have when it comes to career choices.
“They speak highly of the quality of teaching and the resources and generally see SSIP as making a difference to their mastery of content,” MEC Creecy said.
The department in addition has made available learning material to 73 independent schools and close to 4 000 teachers have already been given training.
The department has also allocated R140 million of the budget for the project this financial year. This will go towards tuition, study resources, catering and transport for Grade 12s.