Mark Titus, Gleaner Writer
Sixth-form students at Herbert Morrison Technical High, in Montego Bay, St James, are of the view that far too much emphasis is being placed on traditional career choices and subjects, which are limiting their opportunities to explore a livelihood in non-traditional areas.
"Jamaica needs to stop focusing on the traditional forms of employment," said Paula-She Hastings, speaking against the background of the many unexplored areas available to young people for skills training and development, which are not being utilised.
During the forum, the students argued that they were sometimes forced into studying and passing subjects which have no bearing on what they would like to pursue as a career choice.
"For example, you have a student that draws well but cannot do maths, but in order to get into a programme in pursuit of that art degree, mathematics is mandatory," said Adrian Anglin. "That is killing the dream of a budding artist."
Another area of concern for the students is the absence of preparation in regard to basic survival skills, which are considered key to their everyday existence, especially if they find themselves unemployed and with limited options to put themselves on a progressive path.
TEACH US TO SURVIVE
"We come to school, we get an education but what we don't learn is how to survive," said Annastacia Irving, "We need to invest in our young people and make use of their skills and talents."
She added: "When I say survival, I am speaking about the day-to-day issues that we will face in the real world, so instead of pushing a lawyer or doctor career on us, identify the gifts we possess and encourage us in that regard."
During the forum, the students who are all preparing themselves to move on to the tertiary circuit made it clear they were not satisfied with the limited options being offered to them and said they wanted Government to create additional avenues.
"Graduating from high school, in order to develop themselves, people require tertiary education," said Anglin. "What the Government can do is to have more tertiary institutions that require less qualifications from students."
The students believe that they should be treated as a national investment and as such, no gifted student should be prevented from realising his/her dream because his family is not able to finance his/her education beyond the high school level.
Kevon Richards said: "The Government needs to partner with the youth to give them some hope. There is nothing that is there for them, so the Government has a part to play, that is to invest more in them as the human capital. The youth are crying out for help and the Government must answer to the call."
Scamming will continue until …
… until the society condemns such actions and there is an increase in wages.
… better investment is made in the skills and talents of our youth.
… we instil values in our homes with the children.
… the Government stops being complacent about establishing and reinforcing a law to prevent it.
… emphasis is placed on unconventional jobs.
… the Government and the public stop playing the blame game, but both do their part to stop the problem.
… it is eradicated or decreased and the causes of this dilemma are attacked.
… organised relationships between unscrupulous ICT workers and alleged scammers are disrupted.
… the Government provides more opportunities and work on social incubation.