Introduction How schools can educate and help a student in getting aligned to a career path is one of the main features that a school should have and should be able to do it through a syllabus and curriculum that covers not only the theoretical learning but also a variety of the practical learning also. The students are to be encouraged to perform well in the examinations but they have also to be taught and explained why these learning are essential for them and how they are related to their careers at a later stage.
Necessity of going to a schoolSchools are an integral part of our educational system and it is the first step in the academic journey taken up by a student. During the growing up period the child learns many things in home as well as in school and all that is stored in his mind as the knowledge and information which becomes a base for his or her further learning and acquisition of more and more knowledge. The role of schools is a crucial factor in the life of a student and that is why there is an emphasis that every child in our country should get opportunities and facilities for getting the basic education imparted in the schools. It is really an unfortunate matter that due to extreme poverty and hardships some children are not able to have this basic thing in their lives and work as child labour in households or other establishments. The Govt is trying to help the poor sections of society through various schemes and the number of poor children going to school is slowly and gradually increasing trend. Once a student enters the school then the next challenge is to educate him and prepare him in such a way that he can start thinking about a possible career line at that stage itself. The student should be told time and again that whatever learning he is going to gain is all in the nature of efforts for a successful carer line at a later stage. Going to school is a very important thing because that is the place where the child gets exposure not only to academics of all sorts but other activities in the nature of extracurricular activities which make a student a perfect blend of a personality capable of participating in various activities as demanded by the situation and circumstances. So traditionally, school is a training centre for the children and through that phase, they finally reach their career-making juncture and decide on a career path for themselves.
How to inculcate the career-making elements in an early stageMany schools have a counselling and career-making related cells which guide the students in the matters of career making. But that comes at a later stage when the student is completing his schooling. What is required is identifying the interest and liking of the students in various areas and then group them in small groups having same interest and expose to some practical activities which are primarily to increase their interest and liking in that particular area. For example, in a science class, there are some students who have more interest in biological activities and some will have more interest in say Chemistry or may be in Mathematics. So, a common syllabus for everyone is there and to that extent, there is no problem but dividing them into a few small groups and asking them to do some specific practical projects and tasks related to that area would enhance their understanding and would have a deeper impact on their minds and they will start thinking that in future they might have to go for career lines related to that segment. That is the first instance that we sow the seeds of career-making in their minds.
Another aspect is that some students will not show any particular liking for a specific subject and treat every subject as equal and give some attention to all. In such cases enriching them in a particular subject through additional projects and tasks might not be a good idea. Such students can be motivated towards other additional learning like learning more about solving problems based on logic and reasoning. Today there are many competitive examinations where questions on logic and reasoning are so common. These students might perform there well.
Differentiating students on the basis of their interestsSome schools might be sorting the students for their liking and interests and exposing them to those particular tasks which could become their profession one day but it has to be adopted by a large number of educational institutes which are simply imparting primary and secondary education to its students and nothing more. Some people argue that by doing that the students would be loaded with more work and will not be able to cope with their studies. But the fact is that instead of following the monotonous academic pursuits there should be some change in the activities and new activities should be adopted and should be directed in the direction of a future career line. Let me give a few examples to make the point more clear. Suppose there are some students who are showing a lot of interest in Biology so it makes sense to expose that particular group of students to some popular information and knowledge about the Biology field and those knowledge elements are not necessarily to be shared with all the students. Similarly, if some students have an interest in finance and accounting matters then that group can be asked to go through some basic material in that line and through practical examples, their learning can be improved further inculcating in them an interest in that line and who knows it might one day help them in charting out a career in some niche line in that area.
In essence, career-making should start from early age and the best time is the school time only when the mind of the student is receptive to many things and their memory power is also at the apex of their student life. This methodology does not ask for any big change in the present syllabus but what it requires is the individual attention of the students by the teacher and group them in a few groups for the activities which are motivating and encourage them for a possible career in future. By adding only a handful of practical tasks related to a career line the students can have a great deal of understanding about that and they might start thinking for that career line seriously. Another example is that there are some students who are not in any particular way interested in becoming a doctor or engineer but show interest when we tell them about the administrative services in our country. Now if we inculcate a feeling in the minds of such students, say from their class IX itself, that their aim is not to go for medical or engineering line but is to compete in the competitive examinations for the administrative posts and expose them slowly and gradually to the knowledge that is required to appear in those examinations, then they might get interested and could start the preparations for the competitions right from that time itself. Today many such students, who started preparations much earlier, are making a good career in these coveted services.
ConclusionIdentification of future career lines in an early stage and facilitating the students in that direction is the need of the hour. In these types of efforts, parents and teachers have to participate equally and have to be in touch with each other and monitor the inclination of the student and then additionally teach him some basics of the intended career line in the future. If we are able to achieve and cultivate our students in such a career-conscious manner then it would be easier for them to make a career quickly rather than finishing their studies first and then one day suddenly start thinking about the career.
A school should make a student take up a job confidently. Many colleges these days are making students take up internships during their education. Students will understand the requirements to get a job if they undergo some internships and that will help them to acquire some skills on hand by the time they finish their degree.
The schools are the proper forums where the aspirants could enhance their interests in the areas of learning different skills for which they have passion. Hence we can say that there is an active role for the teachers in grooming the students in their fields. The teachers should closely monitor the activities of the students and enhance their capabilities. Unfortunately this element of motivation for enthusing the students is lacking among the circles of teachers.