Tuesday, August 17, 2004

TALKING POINT
Should govt run career counselling centres?

EVERY year, lakhs of students passing out from schools prepare and look out for careers in different fields. Many of them are unaware about the career opportunities available in fields other than medicine, engineering or the IAS and allied services. In such a scenario, should the government run counselling centres to guide students properly about the careers best suited to them? Manish Kumar Singal examines.

"Guidance must to keep pace with increasing vocationalisation"

P.N. Shastri, a chartered accountant

P.N. Shastri
P.N. Shastri

SAYS Shastri, "Counselling is necessary nowadays as there are so many career opportunities available. There are some counselling centres being run by the government but not many people know about them."

  • Around 20 years back, the career options were limited. The students used to opt for selected careers like defence, IAS, engineering or medicine. Now there are innumerable opportunities and vocations available for the young many of which they are not aware about.

  • Most of the schools do not guide the students properly about non-traditional courses. And if at all, they only offer guidance about the usual fields like engineering, medicine, the IAS and defence services. Counselling should be part of the services provided by schools.

  • Counselling centres should be opened not only by the government but even NGOs and private agencies that want to help the students in choosing their careers.

  • Television is a popular medium and counselling can be provided through it or even other mass media like newspapers and magazines.

"Senior citizens can play more active role than the govt"

Ashok Verma, Member of the Board of Governors, IIM

Ashok Verma
Ashok Verma

ALSO President of the Fore School of Managemen, Verma says that the responsibility does not lie entirely with the government. Rather, individuals should come forward to guide the youth about job opportunities. Senior citizens can take a lead in this by setting up their own forums for career guidance.

  • In our country, every one wants to do graduation which only adds to the number of educated unemployed. Rather, the students should be guided properly at the school level itself on whether they need to do graduation or can get jobs by taking up vocational courses.

  • If a student has the aptitude to become a radio jockey, why should he waste three years in doing graduation. Similarly, if somebody wants to become a fashion designer, painter or musician, they too need not do graduation. This guidance should be given by the government at the school level itself.

  • More than the government, individuals, especially senior citizens and social workers, should come forward to provide counselling to the younger generation.

  • There are some counselling centres being run by the universities but they generally provide counselling about their own courses only and not about other options available.