The Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Education, Mrs. Adebunmi Adekanye has stated that proper guidance counselling on the choice of career/vocation of our youths will help in no small measure to reduce unemployment in the country.
Speaking at a workshop on “The Relevance of Career/Vocational Guidance to Lagos State Secondary School Students” on Tuesday, Adekanye opined that the theme speaks to the challenges of the education system vis-a-vis the large army of jobless youths and attendant socio-economic consequences on the society.
The Permanent Secretary, who was represented at the workshop by the Director, Child Guidance, School Counselling and Special Education, Mrs. Ketimu Musa, said the disdain with which the society looked at the vocational and technical schools for some decades past is taking its toll on the youth population.
She noted that our youths are largely certificate-holding people in an economy where white collar jobs are scarce adding that despite the abundance of jobs in the built environment, property investors go as far as Benin Republic, Togo, Ghana and Cameroon to get labour to get good hands in Mason, tiling, carpentry, furniture making etc many .
Adekanye added that the agriculture and agro-business sector of our economy has a large capacity to employ a lot of people but our youths lack skill in this sector.
According to her, it is time to face reality and Counsellors need not shy away from advising students who are better off in Vocational and Technical Colleges to seek such education in the spirit of the 6-3-3-4 system practised in the country.
She said the workshop was designed to further inculcate in the Guidance Counsellors the capacity to help the young students in their choice of career/vocation at the end of Junior Secondary Schools (JSS) through the application of the Aptitude Test and Occupational Interest Inventory.
She explained that the test is a diagnostic psychological instrument administered annually to J.S.III students in the State to place them into the appropriate SSI class of Technical, Humanities, Business Studies or Sciences.
Adekanye stated further that, “The judgement and advice of the Guidance Counsellors become very important at this stage of child development because parental and peer influence make some students insist on a particular course of study without considering their own capacity to pursue the course”.