As fifth and sixth form students islandwide finalise their career plans, third formers at Morant Bay High School in St. Thomas have already taken the all-important decision, with the majority opting for business, followed by science and mass communication.
This was revealed by third year Supervisor, Miss Karleen Grant, in an interview with JIS News, at the school’s Career Week Exposition held on Friday (March 26).
“Before Career Week, we did a little survey among third and fourth form students and found out that the overwhelming majority plan to become bank managers, followed by doctors, nurses, food technologist and journalists, particularly TV and radio,” she informed.
Part of a programme dubbed: ‘Career Prepares for Gold Destination’ Career Week caters to third form students, but Miss Grant explained that fourth to sixth students are also invited, even if they have already been through the process when they were in third form.
The objective of the week, she told JIS News, is to provide an opportunity for students to attend presentations by participating institutions, chosen, based on their career choices, and for them to obtain the relevant information on the opportunities, benefits and entry requirements.
Sub-officer for Security and Safety at the St. Thomas Police
Division, Sergeant Ransford Smith, makes a presentation at the Morant Bay
High School Career Week Exposition on Friday, March 26.
Miss Grant, in the meantime, pleaded for parents to become involved in their children’s career choices, noting that home support is important in helping students plan for their future.
She pointed out that students have 16 subjects to choose from in April, and that their career path will influence what subjects they do at the CXC level a year later. “Parents should know why their children want to choose subjects to suit their career choice,” Miss Grant stressed.
Vice Principal, Mr. Mohan Kumar, supported the point: “I wish the parents would come to our Career Week and attend the presentations and provide advice. The children are young and they need guidance,” he told JIS News, adding “parents should know what career path their children are choosing”.
This year’s event featured several institutions throughout the week, including HEART Trust, which showcased the different career choices available through the Institute, and things they need to take into account when choosing a career.
Also participating was the National Youth Service (NYS), which highlighted its six months job placement programme following a one month training in a career choice at either a residential or non-residential camp, as well as its three week summer job placement programme at the end of which a stipend of $10,000 is given to participants to cover back-to-school expenses.
Acting Manager for Special Projects at the Jamaica Information
Service (JIS), Mrs. Latoya Crossman, points out features of the JIS display
board to students of Morant Bay High School following a presentation on
career planning at the school’s Career Week Exposition on Friday, March 26.
“We explained to them the reasons why it is a great opportunity to become a member of the NYS as it opens more doors. You are well groomed and respected once you have undertaken one of our programmes,” said NYS representative, Mr. Shenaic Vickers.
Guidance Counsellors, Ms. Jennifer Williamson and Mr. Lenox Kirby said that many of the students will undertake the HEART and NYS programmes, noting that “for many reasons the two institutions are used as fillers before entry into higher education”. The University of the West Indies (UWI) and the University of Technology (UTech) are the top institutions for tertiary education for students at Morant Bay High School.
The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), which is seeking to attract high quality personnel, was invited to present the opportunities, benefits and entry requirements.
Sergeant Ransford Smith, Sub-officer for Security and Safety for the
St. Thomas Police Division, told JIS News that his presentations were being well received.
“For the most part, they are excited about the prospect of being a police officer. Many indicated they are not aware they can pursue other careers at the JCF,” he said, citing counselling and information technology among the career opportunities with the Force.
Other participating institutions included the Mona campus of the UWI, the Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB) and the Jamaica Information Service (JIS).
The participation by JIS in career expositions is to inform of its role as a multimedia news production and dissemination agency of the Government and to inform the public in Jamaica and overseas of Government’s policies, programmes, activities and institutions. It is also consistent with its corporate mandate to inform students of career opportunities in journalism and provide information on career planning.
The agency has impacted hundreds of students so far this year, from its participation in career expositions held by Camperdown High School in Kingston, Jose Marti Technical High School in St. Catherine and Morant Bay High School in St. Thomas.