Dedicate 67 minutes to career guidance

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Pretoria - Higher Education Minister Dr Blade Nzimande has urged all professionals to use the Mandela Day by dedicating their 67 minutes of public service to advise learners on career choices.

In tribute to former President Nelson Mandela's commitment to education and youth development, the department has initiated the Mandela Day Career Guidance Campaign to introduce and improve career guidance for high school learners in rural areas.

The campaign, to be officially launched at Giyani during the Mandela Day on 18 July 2010, aims to present matriculants with much needed information on post school higher education and training including career choices, critical skills, higher education and training institutions and general advice on learning.

Introducing the campaign on Wednesday, Nzimande said that the Ministerial Flagship Programme on careers guidance, targets particularly learners in rural areas, who are mostly disadvantaged as they have no access to career information.

He said the department's review showed that there is a lack of information and career guidance about what is needed at higher education and training institutions for enrolment and course requirement, especially in townships and rural areas, which entrenches the cycle of poverty and makes human and social development extremely difficult.

"Access to career guidance is particularly important for children whose parents are unemployed or have career information as it is not within their experience, the challenge is to break this inter-generational trend," Nzimande said.

During the campaign, Nzimande and the department's Director-General Professor Mary Metcalfe will provide career advice to the learners for 67 minutes.

"We will make available 67 bursaries from a range of institutions for learners from the area for the 2011 academic year," Nzimande announced.

Nzimande added that the department also wants to strengthen FET colleges to be vocational for career guidance.

Meanwhile, Nzimande has welcomed the new National Curriculum Statement announced on Tuesday by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.

"It will allow our schools to focus on real work, we are confident that it will be a better curriculum," he said.