‘Proper counselling is the panacea to youth unemployment’

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The need for proper counselling on the choice of career/vocation among youths to reduce unemployment in the country has been emphasised at a workshop organised by the Lagos State Ministry of Education on Wednesday.

The Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Adebunmi Adekanye who made this known at the event opined that the role of counselling cannot be downplayed.

EduCeleb.com reports that the workshop with the theme, “The relevance of Career/Vocational Guidance to Lagos State Secondary School Students,” was attended by members of staff in the ministry who were professional guidance counsellors.

Mrs Adekanye noted that the theme speaks to the challenges of the education system vis a vis the large army of jobless youths and its attendant socio- economic consequences on the society.

Represented by the Director, Child Guidance, School Counselling and Special Education, Mrs Ketimu Musa at the workshop, Adekanye said the disdain with which the society looked at the vocational and technical schools for some decades past is taking its toll on the youth population.

L-R Mrs Olabisi Boco Director Accounts, Lagos State Ministry of Education, Mrs Ketimu Musa Director, Child Guidance, School, Counselling and Special Education, and Guest Lecturer Dr. Dokun Adedeji

She noted that many youths are largely certificate holding people in an economy that white collar jobs are scarce yet jobs abound in the built environment but to get good hands in mason, tiling, carpentry, furniture making etc many property investors go as far as Benin Republic, Togo, Ghana and Cameroon to get labour. The agriculture and agro business sector of our economy has large capacity to employ a lot of people but our youths lack skill in this sector she lamented.

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The Permanent Secretary stated that, it was time to face the reality and urged the Counsellors not to shy away from advising students who are better off in Vocational and Technical Colleges to go there in the spirit of the 6-3-3-4 system of education that we practice in the country.

The workshop, she said, was designed to further ingrain in the Guidance Counsellors the capacity to help the young students in their choice of career/vocation at the end of Junior Secondary Schools (JSS) through the application of the Aptitude Test and Occupational Interest Inventory, a diagnostic psychological instrument administered annually to J.S.III students in the State to place them into appropriate SSI class of Technical, Humanities, Business Studies or Sciences.

The Permanent Secretary noted that the judgement and advice of the Guidance Counsellors becomes very important at this stage of child development because parental and peer influence make some students insist on a particular course of study without considering their own capacity to pursue the course and we owe responsibility to properly guide and counsel such students towards making them successful and self- dependent in the future.

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