Konchok Norgais, Director SECMOL: What can be more satisfying than having a great intended career, resulted from receiving knowledge, skills with the intrinsic values of life along with a clear career choice one had. Therefore, it is important to have career counselling at the high school level.
At least at the high school level there must be effective career counseling, because in Indian academic context, this is the decisive point from which the students must be aware of what subjects he or she must be taking in higher level that is in align with their interest and the scope of work after their formal studies are over. So later the subjects further narrow down to more specific subjects for in-depth studies as per their interest and skill. The right decision taken timely regarding choosing academic streams at the higher secondary level can have smooth venture ahead. Therefore career counselling is a must.
Here, I’m mentioning about two kinds of career counselling and vocational guidance which must be facilitated to the students. One that covers the hands-on learning courses with a brief academic course and the career choice available ahead. And other career counselling is more for regular studies that focus on higher academic studies and career options.
In order to have better vocational guidance and career counselling, very influential career counsellors can be invited here in Leh periodically. By choosing a specific suitable date, every year we can have career counselling period for the 10th and 12th class students and even for the dropout students of the same grades.
Parents’ role in helping their own children in the career can be effective only if they understand the child’s dream rather than being too pushy about meeting their own dreams. The government can also play a pivotal role in integrating the career counselling courses and internet facilities at the school level so that the students and teachers at the grassroots level can also have equal access to the knowledge of the world.
I want to emphasise more here on life-changing studies and career options that are available online. One can take benefits from many online courses that are available free of cost such as Authentic Certified Courses offered by renowned colleges and universities all over the world. For instance, Edx.org, Khan Academy, BYJU’s etc. provided students must know English and have access to good internet facility.
The reason behind the absence of career counsellor in Ladakh is that people are less aware of its importance in the life of the student. Because of which students tend to follow like ants in a line and come back the same way around and opt for any job vacancies. One of the reasons could be the lack of information about jobs. The parents and students must understand the concept of Job, their skills and knowledge they have to offer. Unfortunately, many parents think that job in the government or in the big private company is a job whereas rest all other people engaged in other activities is not called job not matter earning and works involved in here are worth praising. Of course, people look for secure jobs but the jobs require secure skill, knowledge and interest which in many cases it is missing.
Suicide cases we hear due to exam stress is such a sad thing. When there is an option for practical things on which one can take a test on. The same guy who thinks of committing suicide could get encouragement from his other hidden talents he may have, only when those talents get the due value and respect. One cannot blame the exam only but largely how people see exam as.
Since I have been working with the youths, I have seen many students whose academic level until 10th grade is as low as primary level. Sadly, correlation and application of the knowledge is a far distant vision to many. The basic life skill course and vocational guidance must be provided to as many students who have not got an orientation about the importance of an understanding of the concept.
However, a career counsellor can help students achieve their career after assessing their hidden talent and aptitude. Especially those who are in doubt in choosing the stream of studies will have great benefit. Many of the problems related to studies and career gets solutions
• In order to have better vocational guidance and career counselling, very influential career counsellors can be invited to Leh periodically.
• Integrating career counselling and internet facilities at the school level.
• The concept of job and the skills need to understand.
Tondup Wangail, Founder, Lamstan: Career can be defined as a specialised field or area of service in which an individual spends a significant period of life and progress with opportunities. It’s on individual preference, some may be interested in economic benefits and others may be interested in social service or a balance of both. Follow the 20:80 rules, an individual study for a maximum period of 20 years but spends significant lifespan serving in the chosen career. So give heavyweight, while making a career choice.
If an individual wants to pursue a specific career, he/she need to make an informed decision on each junction of the academic phase, choosing the road which will direct towards the destination.
Focusing on Indian curriculum, a student can take the 1st step towards career after 10th standard, where they can choose various subjects i.e. Medical, Non-Medical, Commerce or Humanities. This choice will determine the future scope available to them. Next junction is 12th standard, where they can further choose available options. As they progress with academics, the domain and scope of available choices get narrowed. So it’s very important to make an informed decision from the beginning. I would advise students to consider 3 things to make a wise choice: Interest (what really fascinates you, what you love doing?), Long term goal (where would you like to see yourself 5-10 years down the line?) and calibre (what is your capability?). While preparing for any academic or entrance exam, students need to understand that hard work is important, but you need to do it smartly.
During my engineering college days, I learnt the skill of prioritising things. For exams preparation, one should be well aware of the syllabus, scan through all previous year papers, cover all important topics and practice test papers. This will help students manage time effectively. Studying long hours doesn’t mean you were productive all time. So interim break and productive study are important for good results. One more thing that is very important is to give your best efforts till exam is finished and then forget about the results. Do not worry at all, as it’s no longer in our hand to redo anything. So there is no reason to stress yourself. Instead, if you fail, never give up and try again as you have just learned another way which leads to failure, so your chances of success are higher next time.
Studies are not always about exams, try to focus on the application of what you learn from books. Do not compete with others because every individual is unique and have a different calibre. If you still want to compete, look into the mirror and compete with yourself. Compete against yourself every day, be like the tortoise from old story and be consistent. You will achieve success sooner or later.
Students in Ladakh were unaware of new career opportunities until the onset of global exposure due to tourism and people from different career background visiting Ladakh.
The challenges which we faced during our student days inspired Lamstan (means to show path) in 2011. I was in 2nd year of civil engineering and was discussing career counselling issue in Ladakh with my friend Kunzes, who was doing IT engineering with me at DCE. So we came up with an idea to create an online and offline guidance programme. We discussed with our friends, who contributed pocket money during summer time to organise events and we never looked back since then and it’s been successful 7 years of operation.
At Lamstan, we have now more than 200 volunteers and 30 dedicated team members along with many professionals covering both Leh and Kargil region. Our motto is: “To connect students from remote areas to mentors and professional at a global level”. We provide guidance through online platforms and conduct various events in summer. Our speciality is students and professionals in respectively filed guide aspirants.
Traditionally we see, one person knows as career counsellor give guidance to all. Which I think is not very helpful. As only those who are going through a specific course will have much knowledge to share. Lamstan is coming up with many innovative projects to make career guidance accessible to all. I have witnessed that parents in Ladakh have a great impact on student’s career. Many parents direct their children towards government job only. They fear in exploring new opportunities and keep following traditional career fields. At one point there is always a conflict between child and parents on career aspirations. On this, I really liked one of Lamstan’s mentor Kunzang’s thought. It goes like this, if a child is not able to convince his/ her parents, who know their child very well, about the interesting career field, then how can he/ she tackle challenging outside world? Proper communication and understanding are important.
• While preparing for any academic or entrance exam, students need to understand that hard work is important, but you need to do it smartly.
• One thing that is very important is to give your best efforts till exam is finished and then forget about the results. Don’t worry at all, as it’s no longer in our hand to redo anything so there is no reason to stress yourself.
• If you fail, never give up and try again as you have just learned another way which leads to failure, so your chances of success are higher next time.
• If any students or parents need career guidance and information please get in touch with Lamstan. We are always there to help and support your future.