Looking at the report on the Presidential Working Party on education reform, career guidance has been mentioned as part of a weak link in the education system. The mission of competency based curriculum to nurture every learner’s potential may get lost if intentional career guidance is not taken into cognisance, according to Career Development Association of Kenya (CDAK).
The media this week extensively reported that over 600,000 learners who left secondary schools in 2022 did not seek admission to either TVET, TTI or University in 2023/2024 placement cycle.
Career development practitioners say this is not stranger. According to Economic Survey, the transition rate from secondary to post-secondary education in the last 5 years has been about 30% and the remaining 70% is not generally accounted for.
Career Development Association of Kenya point out that one of the problems in the delivery of career guidance in schools is the fact that teachers appointed to deliver career services lack career guidance competences (training).
CDAK Board Chair Margaret Waithaka says these teachers also have heavy teaching workload that affects service delivery. Besides, Ms Waithaka says schools have many students’ psychosocial challenges which means career is given low priority.
“There is insufficient career information, resources and tools for teachers,” she says. “There is heavy emphasis on exams over career guidance and transitions. There are no clear policies on career guidance guidelines, standards, framework and recognition of career guidance as a profession.”
Looking at benchmarks in many parts of the world and giving it a local perspective, Ms Waithaka says ideal career guidance services should be institutionalised as a lifelong approach – from early years, primary schools, secondary schools, colleges, universities, youth in communities and at workplace. These departments created in schools will assist students in talent identification, development and documentation as well as career planning and transitions.
“While career guidance has been mentioned in several places in the report, a structure recommendation towards policy inclusion is missing,” she notes. “How will learners transition from junior school to career schools without proper guidance? How will they choose their pathways?”
Already learners struggle to connect school subjects, extracurricular activities and community experiences to career preparation including community-based career events.
Career Development Association of Kenya proposes intentional inclusion of career guidance services through development of career guidance policy frameworks to provide guidelines and standards; creation of careers department in primary, secondary, colleges and universities; professional training for career guidance teachers and/or practitioners in charge of these departments; and embedment of career guidance in teacher education training.
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