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Parental Guidance: Leave Children To Choose Their Courses

FRANCISTOWN: Officials of the Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) have advised parents against imposing their choices on what courses and careers their children should pursue after they complete secondary education.

The chief executive officer (CEO) of HRDC Dr Raphael Dingalo gave the advice Thursday during a media briefing preceding the Botswana Human Resources Development Skills Fair and Career Clinics (BHRDS) to be held here at the Business Botswana Grounds from March 6 to 8.

The skills and career fair will be held under the theme, ‘Guidance for human resource development; gateway towards diversifying Botswana’s economy’.

Dingalo was answering a question on whether HRDC was aware that some parents impose their own choices about what courses and ultimately careers their children should pursue at tertiary institutions upon completion of secondary education.

He was also asked what HRDC has done to bring parents on board at the skills fair and career clinics in order to curb the practice of parents unilaterally deciding what their children should study and what careers to take.

Labour experts are of the view that if parents force or impose their own choices on young people, it may have repercussions in future.

The pundits say that upon completion of the programmes and ultimately finding gainful employment, the child may feel bored about what they are doing which will subsequently lead to low productivity.

Young people, the experts note, are supposed to given a chance to make their own decisions and to live their consequences even if it means failure.They add that if young people fail, they would not blame anyone for their failure because they are the ones who chose their courses and careers.

Dingalo said parents should parents should allow young people to follow their own path and find the career that is

right for them.

He said if parents impose their own career choices on young people and change the way the youngsters do something, they will end up with a career they do not actually like and will end up quitting or never getting anywhere with it. As a result Dingalo said their career fairs are wholesome event that not only target students who are about to finish their secondary education but parents and other stakeholders.

“Our fairs target everybody even the parents. We engage them through teachers. We also invite parents to our fairs through their children,” Dingalo said. 

Adding to what HRDC do to invite parents at their skills fair and career clinics, Dr Ella Matshediso, director of human resources development supply at HRDC said they also target parents through the National Parents and Teachers Association (NPTA).

She acknowledged that the imposition of programmes of study and careers on young people by their parents is caused by a belief that children cannot make rational decisions on what programmes and ultimately careers to take.

Meanwhile, Dingalo said the skills and careers clinics help individuals to make decisions about the choice of occupation and educational paths they want to pursue.

He added: “The clinics are an organised activity that helps individuals to realise their competencies and trains them to plan the appropriate steps to develop essential skills that will lead to personal, economic and social advancement for the individual, family, society and nation”.

The HRDC boss said close to 4,000 people attended the fair last year and they expect the number to rise this year.




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