Subject choice day for the grade 9 students of Wolmer’s High School for Girls in Kingston, Jamaica, was eagerly anticipated by them. The regular timetable of classes was abandoned and replaced instead by a day of information sessions, workshops and presentations as they reflected and contemplated on how to begin to position themselves for success in their future education, career and life.
The over 200 students were informed through presentations by their peers in higher grades, their teachers, parents and persons in the working world, all with the objective of assisting them in making the right choices.
The task of the day was put into context with a workshop by CHOICES Career & Education Advice during which students did the Career Key Test to help them in knowing their personality – realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising or conventional – and in which they also received a CHOICES Magazine themed “Your CXC’s” to help them in matching subjects with careers and to learn more about tertiary institutions and the programmes offered there.
The group had the opportunity of broadening their horizons and learning more about careers they had never thought of. Questions such as “what does a book keeper do?”, “What if I am artistic and love singing but I want to be a lawyer?”, ”How can I make sure that I get a scholarship?” “Do I have to go to university if I don’t want to?” were eagerly posed by students and answered in the workshop.
“According to Mrs. Angela deFreitas, workshop presenter and General Manager of CHOICES Career & Education Advice, “Grade 9/3rd form is an important juncture in a child’s educational life and choosing subjects is one of the most important decisions they will be called upon to make at such a young age, a decision which affects their way forward in life. It’s commendable that the parents were also included in the day’s activities as it is their essential role to assist, guide and support their child. This is an important milestone at which consultation, understanding and sometimes compromise must take place. Students and their parents must be on the same page even if parents and children differ on the final outcome”.
The CHOICES workshop included animated presentations on “Career Paths”, “Who am I and What Should I be Doing?”, “The Importance of Skills”, “Goal Setting” and “Choosing Subjects”.