LEARNERS SUPPORTED TO MAKE BETTER CAREER AND LIFE CHOICES
Grade 9 learners at Loeriesfontein High School recently participated in a unique Career Development Programme, providing learners with information and tools to make improved subject choices linked to personal interests and strengths, in the senior phase of high school. The expertly designed programme assesses individual personalities, preferences and talents, as well as the skills needed for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st Century economy, a programme that is funded by Loeriesfontein Wind Farm and Khobab Wind Farm.
“This programme is aimed at empowering Loeriesfontein High School Grade 9 learners with career development information and knowledge needed to become productive citizens that positively contribute to our country’s economy,” said Vanessa Fredericks, Economic Development Manager for Loeriesfontein Wind Farm and Khobab Wind Farm.
With a tertiary bursary programme now part of the education landscape in Loeriesfontein, providing vistas of possibilities beyond school, there is an impetus to motivate learners to aspire to careers fitting their talents and interests, and to plan for the requisite educational paths leading to these careers. Although the school curriculum incorporates this topic in Life Orientation, the impact of these choices and what they represent is so crucial that a focussed intervention can play a positive role.
2017 research, completed through the Department of Basic Education’s 2017 research figures, shows an alarming dropout rate of 44.6% between Grade 10 and Grade 12. It is believed that poor academic performance, exacerbated by unsuitable subject choices play a big role in these figures.
“Learners are often frustrated when they discover in Grade 11 or 12 that their career choice is limited by the subjects they chose in Grade 10. Furthermore, Grade 12s are confronted with the daunting choice of what to do after school and how to prepare for the chosen career,” added Fredericks.
Career development is a progressive process that facilitates the acquisition of attitudes, skills and knowledge to assist learners in better understanding themselves while exploring viable higher education and career opportunities (post Grade 12). There are both vast economic and social benefits for the South-African economy when learners are supported and empowered to make effective and calculated transitions from high school to further education, training and employment opportunities after having completed Grade 12.
“Without a doubt this programme has been more valuable to the learners than they would ever imagine because it paves the way for them to make an informed decision as to which career to choose,” said Zelda Vos, Acting Principal, Loeriesfontein High School.
The intervention is aimed at assisting learners in finding relevant answers to questions that will enable a more appropriate career choice. Once a realistic career goal is in view, a series of other decisions are also easier to make, especially regarding subject choices and tertiary programmes.
Zelda Vos added, “As the Principal of the school, I enjoyed the ‘African Wisdom’ part of the programme very much as it has helped me to view and understand my colleagues better.”
“We are pleased to play a role in supporting these young people to choose possible career paths, as it is one of the most important decisions they will ever make, starting with supporting a solid foundation in high school,” concluded Fredericks.