SCORES OF ninth-grade Jamaica College (JC) students took another step towards making the connection from school to work as they participated in the Danny Williams Career Expo.
The expo was held on Monday at the Old Hope Road-based institution.
"This is really important, primarily for the third-form students, because it precedes their subject selection for fourth form. They get exposure to career talks, go on field trips and also indulge in a job shadowing activity," Nova Henry, head of the guidance and counselling department at JC, told The Gleaner.
"Apart from hearing what the different careers are about, they also get a practical understanding when they get to visit these organisations. Hopefully, it will help them to make a decision about their career," she added.
Henry noted that she understands the problems that students face when making these decisions at such an early stage in life. However, she encouraged them not to make this stress them out, as even students at the university level experience these problems.
"The students tend to gravitate towards certain areas such as aviation, engineering and medicine. We also try to expose them to new fields and programmes as well, such as those offered at the Caribbean Maritime Institute and those in the areas of ICT (information and communications techno-logy)," Henry said.
Ruel Reid, principal of JC, also reiterated the notion that it was important for the students to make such decisions from early.
"Based on how our system is designed, it is important that they do it at this stage because unlike other countries where they have a curriculum, the system in Jamaica is based on discrete subjects," Reid told The Gleaner.
"Students need some guidance in terms of which subjects they ought to take because then they may find themselves in taking the wrong set of subjects that are not in line with certain departments," he added.
Reid also expressed his delight as the students were grateful and excited for the opportunity to take part in the expo.
"The youngsters found the experience quite informative and exciting as it is very important to them. In addition, they get to have a real-life experience by going out to the different business places," he said.
Reid added: "It is important to have a career exposition for that group as they need exposure to the different career options which will enable them to make informed decisions when it comes to their subject choices."