Career choices: Don’t force the child, guide

Students at the FCT Annual Career Day lecture
Students at the FCT Annual Career Day lecture

Almost everyone has some sort of significant goal or aspiration they hope for, this include some type of long-term career plan or dream job that they would like to attain.

Choosing a career is one of the most important decisions any one will make in life. It is a decision about what an individual will do to make a living and the importance of selecting a career with which they are comfortable with cannot be overemphasised.

Although there are key people in a child’s life, especially the parents, teachers and counsellor, who have roles to play in guiding the child for a career based on what has been discovered, imposing a career on a child is not right, education experts said.

Obaje Josephine from Government Secondary School, Abuja at No. 30, Peji, Kuje wants to become a gynaecologist; Sulaiman Salaudeen from Junior Secondary School, Gwagwa wants to be a lawyer and another senior student, Khadija Abdulkarim from Government Day Secondary School, Dokpa, Gwagwalada also chose to be a lawyer, a profession her mother has been practicing before she gave birth to her.

They were among students of over 80 schools represented at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Annual Career Day organised by the Education Resource Centre with ‘Obstacle to Realisation of Career Goals’ as theme.

The Director, FCT Education Resource Centre, Mrs Beatrice Olorunlona, said at the event that parents who forcefully chose career for their children were selfish, adding that they just want to massage their ego which is not in the best interest of the child.

Represented by Mrs Hope Okani of the ERC, she said although parents could guide, because at each point in time in a student’s life he or she is confused and wants to become everything in life thereby changing from one subject to the other, that does not mean that parents should force the child to choose a particular path.

She added that if a child is well guided based on what is discovered about him or her, the child will end up choosing the right career in life.

She urged parents to allow their children have the inner satisfaction of choosing the career that suits them and the one they could really function well in, while advising them to sit down and discover who they are from the things they do, adding that teachers should also help to direct them.

“Teachers and the government should stop highlighting science over other subjects because it is demoralising. When you  come to a school to highlight science and diminish other subjects, students will think that is the only way there is life but there is life in every area you choose.

The organiser of the programme, Dr Olorungbemi Olanike, said the essence of the programme was to give students opportunities to answer the big question, “what do I want to become when I grow up?”

She said career day will help the students to have personal view of  an array of occupations especially the ones they have not heard of before.

“It can broaden their perspectives beyond the familiar jobs and help them learn more on the requirement for the fields of their interest. It also helps them to ask pertinent questions directly from the resource persons on areas they need clarification,” she stated.


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