Guidance, a pending account

We live in a changing world where continuous updating is necessary . Being obsolete is no longer an option and without a doubt the saying “knowledge has no place” makes more sense than ever. New learning methods, new professions and greater accessibility to information sources… but is the current educational system really prepared for the future? Is training adapted to the global needs of the market and the environment in which we live? ?

We find ourselves in a context in which it is estimated that 70% of the jobs that future generations will occupy are unknown. Following this line, little is said about the fact that for every 100 students there are 20 who do not finish high school, another 20 who will finish it but do not want to pursue university studies, and of the remaining 60 who choose university as an option, 20 will drop out the first year and of the 40 who finish the degree, only 20 will actually get a salary based on what they have studied.

Choosing an inappropriate career is a very frequent fact among young people and one of the main factors that lead to university desertion. Young people are continually searching for their own personal identity, they constantly ask themselves questions: who am I?, where am I? and where am I going? They must know how to identify changes in their environment: cultural, social and economic. But they really don’t know what approach to give to their education, nor their parents how to help them.

This is where orientation comes into play: what is orientation?

First of all, there are three levels of orientation: professional, vocational and educational.

Professional guidance, strictly speaking, is to provide advice, information and guidance so that people at different levels can improve their employability (if they are unemployed) or choose studies (university or not) that make them and allow them to have a life full.

In short, it consists of helping people to reinvent themselves or link themselves to a prosperous life.

The  country manager of EF Education First , points out the importance of orientation. “We believe that it is not sufficiently implemented or modernized. As an education company we are concerned about the guidance that is being taught and provided”.

Emphasis should be placed on helping students to have a profile with which they can take advantage of opportunities. Although more than career guidance, we should focus on guidance in general . When speaking only of the professional field, we are closing it to a specific definition and, as has been pointed out previously, it is very difficult to define the professions that students could dedicate themselves to in the future.

Martí affirms that “it is important to prepare young people for the economy and innovation, to be ready for the opportunities that arise more than for professional orientation as such.”

There are many young people who get frustrated in high school, or in school in general. Of 100 students, only 20% end up satisfied with the educational system that we give them. There we have a problem.

Professional guidance aims to intervene in this social problem and therefore should be developed extensively. Generate all possible information so that young people can choose based on it and that parents know that this information is available. They must be encouraged to be themselves active agents of their own change and to achieve adaptation to the changing situations that the passage to active life brings with it.

In Finland , the country with the highest educational level according to the PISA report, they had this debate 40 years ago. In fact, at the age of 11, Finnish students begin to have conversations with counselors and from 13/14 they can choose between studies linked to a technical part or just a bachelor’s degree. For the Nordic country, not choosing university studies is not a failure, they do not have that stigma. In Spain there are very few centers that offer orientation talks to their students and when these are given, they focus mainly on the university environment, leaving aside other equally valid options.

In opposition to educational centers, projects such as AULA appear . An education fair that is mainly based on helping students to effectively decide their educational and professional future. Through an offer of educational and training centres, entities and service companies, the aim is to respond to the training needs of students (from 4th year of ESO onwards) who come to choose the center in which to train to access the world labor.

The director of AULA 2022 , considers that “The objective is to continue offering the educational community the best event in this sector in Spain, with a strong Ibero-American vocation, and with a clearly guiding profile, helping students and families in educational decision-making, and that is precisely one of the distinctive features of this Fair compared to other events.”

Educational orientation has been shown to decrease the percentage of academic dropouts and increase personal satisfaction.

And although in terms of education, it maintains its commitment to the 2030 Agenda and compliance with SDG4, which seeks to “guarantee inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”, in student orientation we continue to take snail’s steps.

“More should be invested in orientation, currently the approach is not enough, in any way”, comments the manager.

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