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Articles from South Africa
South African Association for Counselling and Development in Higher Education Newsletter 2008
Published on Friday, January 30, 2009 @ 5:33 AM by iccdppadm
10235 Views :: 2 Comments :: :: Developing Countries, Guidance in Tertiary Education, Africa, South Africa
This is the November 2008 Newsletter of the SAACDHE. It highlights the range of professional association activities taking place in higher education across South Africa. Its Guest Column  showcases a traditional African healthcare approach to therapeutic services for students in higher education in South Africa.
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Navigational Tools for Learners: An Environmental Scan of the Career Guidance Field in South Africa
Published on Tuesday, November 04, 2008 @ 6:09 AM by iccdppadm
11447 Views :: 0 Comments :: Public Policy, Africa, Expanding Access to Guidance, Co-ordination and Leadership, South Africa

This report has been commissioned by the South Africa Qualifications Authority. It reports on navigational tools available to learners, workers, work-seekers in South Africa and to those helping them construct work and study paths for sustainable and meaningful livelihoods.

The landscape of careers guidance in South Africa comprises many players, diverse and devolved information sources and services, and a policy and personnel infrastructure that suggests the situation of careers guidance has improved over the last few years. However, information exists in ‘thundershower’ initiatives for pockets of people. Changes in education and training make mastering information more complicated.

The key voids in information and guidance provision are: lack of coordination; no comprehensive, national, independent, good-quality, publicly available information; no national strategic policy leadership in the field; no models for systemic careers guidance delivery; paltry funding to outreach organisations; and no public recognition that support and accessibility are intertwined.

Needed are strategic leadership and coordination; comprehensive, national, independent accessible information for all linked to support services; and harnessing new technology to provide innovative services that increase accessibility dramatically. The learner needs to be at the centre of a radical rethink of careers services in a lifelong learning framework to ensure learners have access to navigational tools throughout a lifetime of work and study transitions.  

A cellphone/telephone helpline is recommended and elaborated as a strategic and concrete point of entry to address many of these imperatives. The need for navigational tools is vast and a critical issue of access, redress and the efficiency of the education and labour market systems. SAQA, linked to both the Department of Education (DoE) and the DoL, is ideally placed to lead a partner initiative to set up a helpline for careers information and advice.

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Public Policies for Career Development: Case Studies and Emerging Issues in Developing and Transition Economies
Published on Wednesday, October 15, 2008 @ 1:26 AM by iccdppadm
14427 Views :: 1 Comments :: :: Public Policy, Europe, Americas, South Asia, Africa, World Bank, Co-ordination and Leadership, Chile, Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Turkey

This report summarize the findings of seven case-studies of public policy in career guidance carried out in Chile, the Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, South Africa and Turkey. The objectives of this World Bank study were: to identify and describe the distinctive issues faced by developing and transition economies in forming effective policies in career guidance and counseling; to identify emerging examples of best practice, and suggest how such countries can form more effective policies and programs in this field; and to assist the World Bank and other development agencies in determining how they can best assist such efforts.  World Bank client countries are often faced with distinctive issues. These include limited public resources, high unemployment and poverty, large informal economies, need for community capacity building, and at times specific family and cultural factors which may have a major impact on career decision-making.

 

Current career guidance provision in the seven case-study countries is reviewed in terms of five main sectors: schools; tertiary education; public employment services; employer-based services; and the private and voluntary sectors. This provision reflects a traditional policy rationale in which career guidance is viewed in somewhat institutional and reactive terms, as a measure designed to lubricate the operation of the education system and its relationship to the labor market, and to combat such phenomena as unemployment or mismatch.

 

There are however signs of a more dynamic and proactive policy rationale emerging in middle-income countries, as is the case in developed countries. Career guidance is increasingly viewed as an integral part of a human resource development strategy designed to harness technological and economic change and enable the country to compete effectively in global markets. Under this view, career guidance has an important role to play in encouraging all individuals, including youth and adults, to engage in career planning and learning throughout life, so enabling them to respond more flexibly to the opportunities offered by a dynamic labor market. This view is supported by changing concepts of career development. It requires extending access to career guidance services, constructing more of these services on a self-help basis, strengthening career and educational information resources, and improving staffing in a more differentiated form.

Based on this analysis of the case-studies, four general conclusions are reached to assist middle-income countries in developing services. First, provision of services needs to be viewed as a coherent system, with multiple stakeholders developing different elements of service delivery. Second, governments have a key role in developing the services, but should not be viewed as sole providers. Third, restrictions on public resources require priorities to be established: these include an initial focus on improving career and educational information, followed by investing in self-help services, exploiting the use of information and communications technology, improving staff training, and developing incentives to encourage the private and NGO sectors to develop and deliver services. Finally, an evidence base of client demand, service cost, and service impact needs to be developed to defend investments.

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