SchoolTrade Adopt-a-School Programme

Teacher Training in Career Guidance

One often hears calls for the national Department of Education (DoE) to do 'more' about Career Education in schools. We are of the view that there is not much more (quantitatively speaking) that DoE could be doing.

The DoE argues quite correctly that Career Education is already component of Life Orientation (LO) and it is one of the official learning policy outcomes of the National Department of Education (DoE). In fact, from a policy perspective, the DoE can boast that for the last few years LO has been one of the compulsory subjects (together with numeracy and language) required to pass matric. Finally, the DoE can even claim that LO is 'working’ because the national average for LO in the 2011 matric exams was over 60%...


Why then do so few school leavers from the majority of state schools know so little about their own career interests and even less about what’s out there in terms of training and opportunities?
Dig a little deeper and it is not difficult to uncover the problems…

As with so many well intentioned policies, the problem lies not with the broad policy but with implementation and quality.


1. Career guidance forms a mere one eighth of the Life Orientation (LO) curriculum
2. Career Guidance is very theoretical and in the majority of schools, very seldom, if ever, involves site visits to actual work places. This means that learners are learning ABOUT but are not engaging WITH the world of work.
3. In practice, LO has a very low priority in underprivileged schools. Ask most educators and they will tell you that the aim of school is the matric exam, not what happens to kids after they leave school.
4. No surprise therefore that the best teachers are allocated academic subjects and LO and career guidance are often assigned to the inexperienced and to those with a light teaching load.


Could the DoE be doing more to implementing career education in schools? More of the SAME would not be helpful... Instead what is required is a complete paradigm shift about career education: The best `teachers’ in this subject are not IN schools but are out there, working in the wider community... Schools therefore need to find a way of collaborating with these 'teachers’.


Our suggestion is better trained teachers and relevant resources, such as, the careers video and TATS visits.

 Phyll Galllagher from insurance company Gallsure poses with learners after her TATS visit
 Andreas, owner of a garden service poses with learners and teacher after his TATS visit
 Desiree Colborne from Xtec (PMB) poses with Grade 12 learners after an informative TATS (Take an Adult 2 School) visit arranged by SchoolTrade.