Schools are creating more awareness of the world of work as part of their Education and Career Guidance programmes by exposing students to different types of occupations. This lets the youngsters make more informed choices in the future.
Having good grades alone won’t get you your dream job. To have a fulfiling career, experts say, students should start discovering their interests and explore their options early.
Under the Education and Career Guidance (ECG) programme, schools are rolling out a slew of initiatives from career talks and job fairs to guide students in making sensible and informed choices.
Last year, the Ministry of Education deployed 50 ECG counsellors to schools, polytechnics and ITEs to provide one-on-one career mentorship. This figure is set to double by 2017.
ECG programmes are tailored to the specific needs of students at key stages of their lives: primary school, secondary school and post-secondary.
At primary school, it’s all about creating awareness on the different types of occupations that are available out there.
Exposing them to role models
Huamin Primary School invites professionals from a wide range of industries to speak about their work experiences. Primary 6 students have the opportunity to meet nurses, lawyers, journalists and even a colonel from the Navy.
About a year ago, the school went a step further to visit a law firm, with the help of the School Advisory Committee (SAC) Chairperson, who is also the Executive Director of the firm.
Ms Irfana Banu, the teacher-in-charge of ECG, says the three students who were selected to participate wanted to find out what went on behind the scenes. “They weren’t just there to sightsee,” she says. “They really got involved because of the exposure they had when they were walking around and asking questions.”
With such a programme in place, students discover “what they could possibly do in the future” from an early age.
Arifah bte Zaidi, 13, a former student at Huamin Primary who attended a half-day work attachment at the law firm last year shares her experience.
“I want to be a lawyer because my cousin is one and she told me that I can help people solve their problems. It’s a form of giving back to the community.
Before my visit to the firm, I only had a vague idea of what a lawyer does. I thought lawyers just debated in court because that was what I saw on TV.
I learned that there are many processes to go through before a hearing – from interviewing the client to compiling documentation.
I also got to attend a court hearing. I didn’t know that the atmosphere would be so serious! I found out that the hearings are open to the public. I’d like to attend another one when I’m free.
It’s not easy to become a lawyer. But knowing this motivates me to work hard so I can achieve my dream when I grow up.”