New career guidance scheme to help students chart future

August 26, 201410:12 am473 views
New career guidance scheme to help students chart future
New career guidance scheme to help students chart future

SINGAPORE — Professional career counsellors will soon be on hand to advise students in secondary schools, junior colleges, polytechnics and Institutes of Technical Education (ITE) on their plans for the future, as part of the Applied Study in Polytechnics and ITE Review (ASPIRE) Committee’s recommendations to help them make better education and career choices.

A one-stop online portal will also be set up to help students and parents access tailored profiling and assessment tools, information on job market conditions and career opportunities.

Parents and students whom TODAY spoke to cheered the move, saying that early, professional guidance would help students chart their future. Currently, schools do not have dedicated career guidance officers; the role is fulfilled by teachers and lecturers.

The new education and career guidance programme (ECG) will be piloted at 40 to 50 secondary schools and junior colleges, with one trained ECG officer assigned to five schools, for a start. It will be expanded to polytechnics and ITEs, with three to five ECG officers assigned to each institution.

Mr Preston Tan, a father of three, said that while he has allowed his children to make education and career choices on their own, they would benefit from having professional career guidance. “I believe one must be in a line of work that one enjoys, and not what parents expect. Unfortunately, my eldest son has no idea what he wants to be,” said the 40-year-old, whose eldest son is in his first year of junior college.

Mr Joel Chan, who is studying banking and financial services at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, said giving students career guidance at a young age will help them choose their education and career paths wisely, since they generally have little idea of the courses on offer. “It will be helpful for students to be equipped with the relevant information to aid them in the selection of courses,” said the 19-year-old.

At ASPIRE’s press conference yesterday, Senior Minister of State (Education) Indranee Rajah, who heads the committee, also said giving parents access to information on education and career guidance will help drive a mindset shift such that they, too, can come to realise there are multiple education and career pathways for different individuals.

People are also concerned about outcomes, she noted. “Because if you can have good outcomes from people, and you can have good progression prospects, even when they have diplomas and ITE qualifications, I’m sure a lot will look at it and say, ‘Okay, other people have succeeded on this path, my child can succeed this way also,’” she said.

Mr Lim Biow Chuan, chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee (Education), added that “positive case studies of people who have done well without a degree” will help foster the mindset change.

Another key recommendation to strengthen skills-based training at polytechnics and ITEs is to offer enhanced internships across a wider number of sectors.

Institutions will also work closely with industry partners to better structure internships such that learning outcomes are clearly defined and relevant to students’ courses. Starting next year, polytechnics will pilot enhanced internships in four sectors, namely built environment, marine and offshore engineering, early childhood education and hotel operations and management.

source: todayonline.com

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