EDUCATION and Training Deputy Minister, Thabang Kholumo, has urged prospective tertiary students to make use of the Council on Higher Education’s (CHE) Higher Education Fair so they can make informed career choices.
In his remarks while officially opening the two-day Higher Education Fair in Maseru on Wednesday, Mr Kholumo said career guidance sessions were critical for students to make informed decisions.
The annual event provides students preparing to apply and enrol at higher education institutions in Lesotho and the SADC region with information on the programmes they offer, their requirements and funding opportunities in one place.
It is also meant to provide the institutions with a platform to showcase their programmes to prospective students, with a number of colleges from Lesotho, Botswana and South Africa exhibiting their programmes during the event.
Mr Kholumo said prospective tertiary students should attend as many career guidance sessions as possible to broaden their understanding of different areas of study.
“It is easier to make choices in life when you have a number of things to choose from. Expose your mind and absorb as much as possible,” he said.
The deputy minister said students who had completed their Lesotho General Certificate of Secondary Education (LGCSE) did not need to travel from one institution to the other looking for information since the fair provided a one-stop shop for programmes offered and their admission requirements.
“Life has been made easy for you. This is a big opportunity which you should grab with both hands,” he said.
Mr Kholumo also urged the students to choose the programmes they intend to pursue wisely to avoid taking career paths they are not passionate about.
“Choice of an area of study needs to be done very carefully these days because some professions are saturated and therefore employment opportunities are slim,” Mr Kholumo said.
“There are other professions in which there are shortages of human resources. Find out which those are (undersubscribed) and understand their requirements.
“During our time, a person could study anything and still find employment easily because there were human resources gaps in many areas of the economy. That is no longer the case.”
He added: “Your choice should not only be informed by areas with potential employment opportunities. It should also be informed by what you are passionate about. What you would really like to do in life. “Remember what you study at tertiary level will be part of your working life.
“There is nothing more exciting than waking up every morning to go to a job you enjoy doing, whether employed or self-employed. In the same way, there is nothing more frustrating than doing a job you do not have a drive for. Thus, your choices have to be informed by a number of these important factors.”
Mr Kholumo also said the Ministry of Education and Training, through CHE, accredited programmes offered by tertiary institutions in Lesotho. He said the accreditation was meant to ensure students who study at the institutions get quality education.
“Since 2013 no new programme can be offered by any institution if it has not been accredited by CHE. All the programmes in different institutions that were operational before CHE came into being are recognised until they can be subjected to a review which will determine their status,” he said.