Career counselling has a great impact on future career prospects of youth as it helps in increasing enrolments at all levels and reducing drop outs from high schools

Counselling and guidance should begin from early childhood if we are to convert our youth to responsible citizens

Those involved in career counselling and education consultancy should take responsibility and do justice with their profession.

Education consultancy business in Pakistan needs to be regulated.

Renowned educationist and career counsellor Syed Abidi who is also the Chairman of Association of Professional Education Consultants of Pakistan (APECOP) delivered a presentation today at the British Council organized symposiums titled “Counsellor’s Symposium” in Karachi. Speaking to the correspondent exclusively, he highlighted the importance of career counselling in Pakistan especially at secondary school and higher levels. He lauded the efforts of British Council Pakistan in organizing workshops and symposiums on this highly important and vital subject of career counselling. He said that in the west career counselling, guidance and interventions begin from early childhood and continue up to high school which helps a child to understand and develop skills that he possesses but are often ignored or influenced by parents. He said career counselling virtually transforms a child into not only a responsible citizen but also makes a specialist out of him in the area of his expertise that was inherent in his personality and character. Professional career counselling at the right time reduces the drop out ratio of students from primary and secondary schools resulting in increased literacy rate at this level. Western countries consider career counselling as part of their curriculum and qualified and professional staff is hired to deliver these services at all levels. Statistics and research has proven that career counselling has helped students and institutions to improve the quality of their education systems, enrollments and postgraduate employment ratios.

Syed Abidi delivered a presentation which he says will be helpful for school career counsellors and education consultants who are providing these services in Pakistan giving them an insight from basic definitions to the understanding of the theories and processes of career counselling and guidance. His presentation highlighted the use of internet and cyber technology in delivering guidance and career counselling and how can counsellors benefit from the today’s modern and internet based environment. He described the type of students that we face today have far better understanding and awareness of different career prospects through the use of internet which could be an advantage but if professional guidance is not available to translate this information rightly for them this could bring negative impact on the type of career prospects they may choose at the end of the day.

On the issue of education consultancy business in Pakistan he emphasized the need of regulating this business which has commercialized many folds since he himself started to work as a consultant in the 1990s. He pointed out hundreds of occasions when fake and fraudulent consultants charged huge and horrendous amount of money to send genuine students to small colleges and non-accredited courses resulting in wastage of hard earned foreign exchange of their parents and many years of their academic life. He said that he took this issue from his platform of APECOP to various agencies including FIA and presented a proposal to regulate and legitimize those involved in education consultancy business through a proper license. It is unfortunate that every now and then a student is deprived of huge amount of money in the pretext of going abroad all over Pakistan and there is no regulation to protect this.

The symposium was widely attended by leading educationists and career counselling experts from Pakistan and abroad and a number of presentation and lecture sessions were held on this topic in the 2 days’ event organized by the British council which will conclude on 20th of June, 2013.

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