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Career Guidance as an Advocacy in Senior High School

Benryl Bacaro Llamera

In Sir Francis Bacon's Meditationes Sacrae (1597), the phrase "ipsa scientia potentia est," which means "knowledge itself is power," occured. This anchors the arguments for career guidance as an advocacy in Senior High School.

Most young people during this stage in their lives, just right before they go to college or even already facing the life of an "adult" person, stand at the crossroads. This is an important and crucial time of their lives because people find themselves in a state of dilemma before making important decisions in their lives. This is a point where they are distracted as to what to choose and do now, and oftentimes worried as to how the future will unfold for them.

In the Philippines, each student in Senior High School can choose among three tracks available: Academic; Technical-Vocational-Livelihood; and Sports and Arts. The Academic track includes three strands: Business, Accountancy, Management (BAM); Humanities, Education, Social Sciences (HESS); and Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM). However, the career options possible for a student to opt for are more than hundreds. This is where matters become complicated. That is why career guidance is of vital importance for these students to utilize.

Knowledge is a foundation that must be emphasized because this would help how students will make decisions. It should be noted that it is fine to have questions and uncertainties in mind as these move us to finding answers to them. This is the purpose of having career guidance in the program. It is a comprehensive, student-friendly, developmental program designed to help the students make and implement well-informed educational and occupational choices. This will help them acquire information, knowledge, skills, experience and glimpse of the career options before them. The goal is to guide them widen their perspectives and possibly narrow down their career decision to pursue.

Making the right career decision at the right time makes a lot of difference. It bears with it a lot of advantages such as good stewardship of the resources that one has, not waste time, having clear goals set in mind, pursuing where one is really passionate about and looking for and maximizing the opportunities that are in line with one's career choice. With this, a lot of problems can be avoided by doing it right from the beginning. In order to implement it effectively and properly, a career guidance counsellor must provide the professional assistance for the students. Students need proper advice. With this we mean expert's advice. They oftentimes are hesitant to discuss what is going on in their minds and the issues that bother them because of the environment most schools provide. There must be a safe space and secure environment with the counsellor for them to discuss these things. In general, there must be trust, confidence and security. An expert career counsellor and guide would be right beside the student, guiding him/her for the right career and helping him/her work towards it.

But that is just the first step of the process. Knowledge is just one thing, and to act upon it is another. Career guidance also aims to develop the ability of the students to informed choices and decisions. In career guidance, they are thought that this journey of "adulting" is a process. They can make mistakes along the way. They might find themselves having no joy with the path they would be pursuing and choose to go another way. They might face obstacles in finding their passion and pursuing for it. How are they going to act when these things come? A solid foundation for these students will pave a way to solving these when they are on their own, or at least help them get their perspectives on the right track. What is important is that schools, teachers and parents should assist them, equip them with necessary tools, guide them through this journey, and hope that in the end, they will not just be successful to whatever they choose to pursue, but also they become a person of virtue, having passion to what they do and compassion to people.