In some countries in Europe, some children from the age of 11 or 13 go to schools to learn more practical skills that will help them get a job. Other children stay in schools which provide a more general academic education. What should schools do to prepare students for the world of work?
We live in a changing world, one that needs adaptable students who are ready to deal with the challenges of the communications age. However, we must not overlook the fact that students need to have some practical skills which will also help them in the future. It is, therefore, the responsibility of schools to provide a balance between the two. By the age of 11 or 13, some children have a vague idea of what they may want to do as a career; on the other hand, many do not. In my opinion, it is unfair to expect children to decide whether or not they want to specialise in vocational or academic training at such a young age. Schools should offer a wide variety of subjects for children to choose from and not force them onto a path they may later regret. The majority of occupations today require an understanding of the basic academic skills. Therefore, even if a child does know that they want to follow a career in a particular trade, institutions that offer practical subjects must include core subjects such as literacy and arithmetic, as well as computer literacy, as a part of their curriculum. In my country, children do not have to specialise until they reach the age of 76. This means they have been taught several subjects and can decide what they want to do when they complete their schooling. Today there are many career options for children and they are no longer restricted in their choice of work. It is the duty of the school to give young learners the chance to choose their own career options or, at least provide them with the right tools to truly make it in the modern world.