Schools Report Successful Staging of Career Week Activities

Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson Director of Production, Jamaica Information Service (JIS), Enthrose Campbell, acknowledges a student wanting to answer her question at Mona High School’s recently held Career Day.

Story Highlights

  • A number of schools around Jamaica are reporting a successful staging of National Career Week activities at their institutions under the theme: ‘Expanding Horizons for Vision 2030’.
  • Organized in collaboration with HEART Trust/NTA and Junior Achievement Jamaica, the activities saw schools staging numerous activities geared at giving students an opportunity to express their understanding of Jamaica’s National Development plan, Vision 2030, while learning about and planning for the career of their choice.
  • Explaining the thinking behind this year’s theme, Senior Guidance and Counselling Education Officer, at MOEYI, Lisetha Adams, says Jamaica’s schools must now actively prepare students to be successful in the career of their choice, while fulfilling the needs of the nation.

A number of schools around Jamaica are reporting a successful staging of National Career Week activities at their institutions under the theme: ‘Expanding Horizons for Vision 2030’.

Students at all levels in the six regions of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information (MOEYI) participated in the seventh staging of National Careers Week from February 11 to 17.

Organized in collaboration with HEART Trust/NTA and Junior Achievement Jamaica, the activities saw schools staging numerous activities geared at giving students an opportunity to express their understanding of Jamaica’s National Development plan, Vision 2030, while learning about and planning for the career of their choice.

This year’s activities went beyond looking the part with students attending school in miniature versions of uniforms worn by workers in various professions including the highly popular police, soldiers, and pilot gear.

Explaining the thinking behind this year’s theme, Senior Guidance and Counselling Education Officer, at MOEYI, Lisetha Adams, says Jamaica’s schools must now actively prepare students to be successful in the career of their choice, while fulfilling the needs of the nation.

“As a part of the Growth Agenda, Jamaica’s education system must provide world class education that prepares well-rounded students who will be successful at the tertiary level, in careers, as citizens, rearing families, and contributing positively to the economy,” she tells JIS News.

Confirming the successful execution of the week of activities, Ms. Adams reiterates that the Ministry’s purpose in this endeavour, was to “help inspire wiser career decisions across Jamaica towards better engaging youth and adults in helping to establish the country as a globally competitive nation.”

This is to be achieved by sensitizing students to labour market changes and complexities of the workplace; assisting students to build self-esteem and improving decision making, problem solving, planning and critical thinking skills; building interpersonal effectiveness of students through team work; strengthened school/ work relations; and broadening the students’ knowledge of careers and improving employability of students.

She notes that schools have a significant role to play in preparing the future workforce with the necessary competencies.

“New and emerging jobs are evolving which means that the workforce will require new skill set to meet the demands of these jobs. These competencies can and will be honed through the integration of comprehensive career development programmes and initiatives within the curricular and co-curricular activities at all levels of the education system Ms. Adams says.

At Angels Primary School, students mounted highly creative displays put on by all grades, with focus placed on the areas of sanitation, sports, education, transportation, business and agriculture.

Speaking with JIS News, Guidance Counsellor, Claudelle Baldie, notes that the pupils invented working machines depicting how they believe technology will operate in 2030.

Among the highlights were a touch-activated security system geared at alerting persons to the presence of an intruder; as well as a virtual learning environment where students could participate in virtual field trips and take lessons in the comfort of their homes.

Underscoring the importance of Career Day in schools, the guidance counsellor notes, “it helps students to choose wisely, think critically so that they plan ahead of time.”

She also points out that is helps the students see the interconnectivity among various career paths and that all areas are important. The days’ activities at the St. Catherine based primary school included career talks, as well as rap sessions with persons employed in transportation, agriculture and construction.

At Holy Childhood High School, where the theme for Career Day was “Conceived it… Study for It… Become it”, activities selected stemmed from research done at the institution which suggested that there is a gap between some students’ interest in their career goals and their attitude towards study.

The objective of the activities was is to increase students’ commitment to studying through completion of homework, interest in reading educational material, time management and other imperatives.

According to Angelica Dalrimple-McCallum, guidance counsellor at the institution, the aim of the week’s activities was to “make students more aware of the importance of studying to achieving their goals, and now the students have grasped the concept and are responding.”

She points out that the school’s activities support the Ministry’s theme, in terms of making students globally competitive. “We looked at the need to help our children to be qualified socially, academically to meet the standard of the society’s goals,” she adds.

Mrs. Dalrimple-McCallum emphasized that career related activities are a critical part of school as they help students to own their education and sparks awareness that they have a role to play in their future.

“We can’t just teach students in isolation in terms of Math and English and so on. They need to be associated with a goal. So career activities really point them to a goal. Whether it’s going to the short or long term, they should have a focus a purpose. Other than that they would just come to school because their parents send them and they are not taking responsibility for their education,” she states.

Meanwhile, at Mona High School, students benefitted from talks and presentations by experts in various fields.

In her presentation on Careers in Media, Director of Production at the Jamaica Information Service (JIS), Enthrose Campbell, urged students to take a wide view of education and regard all subject areas as valuable sources of information.

“Learn everything you are taught. Every subject is important. For example, in the case of Religious Education, you shouldn’t just say that I go to church so I don’t need to do that. Make sure that you pass all your subjects and that you continue to do well. Choose an area that you like and put in the work,” she says.

Responding to the presentation, third form student, Shahanie Williams, notes that the talks were eye opening.

“I have always wanted to be a lawyer, but today, JIS came in and showed me what they do. I still want to be a lawyer, but if I have to find myself in another profession, I might do journalism. I had no knowledge of what journalism was about. I now know that there are many other fields I can choose from. Before now, everyone (students) wanted to be either a doctor or lawyer,” Ms. Williams says.

“I believe it’s a very good event that my school has put on because certain students at this age don’t know which career they want to end up in. Today is a day that other people from different environments come to tell us their experience or what their service offers. This can help students to decide what they want to become,” she adds.

The MOEYI established a National Career Integration Committee to co-ordinate and monitor activities that relate to careers.

The committee is chaired by a Ministry representative and membership is garnered from various units and departments responsible for career initiatives within the Ministry and supported by various public and private sector Agencies Island wide.

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