Dubai: The Ministry of Education will add a career counselling class once a week for grade 10 students who attend public school for the academic year 2013/14.
Minister of Education Humaid Mohammad Obaid Al Qutami issued a ministerial decree regarding the implementation of this new decision on 21 public schools in the UAE as a first phase plan to hopefully expand and include all schools by the year 2017.
Kaneez Mohammad Al Abdolli director of Student Advising and Counselling department told Gulf News that adding the course to the curriculum does not mean longer school hours.
“We will take five minutes from each class to add this new course that will be taken by grade 10 students once a week. This means that there will be no extra hours added to the school day.”
Kaneez said that each of the 21 schools will have one career counsellor who has received training over the past year at the United Arab University. The ministry also plans on evaluating the first phase to learn how to improve it in the next phases.
The first batch of grade 10 students will then go on to take the course in grade 11 and grade 12. The grade 11 curriculum for the next academic year has already been planed added Kaneez.
As for some of the challenges she added: “We plan on including more schools but there are challenges that we must overcome such as not having enough trained career counsellors as well as budget restrictions.”
The aim of the career counselling classes is to help students discover their skills and capabilities to help him plan for his professional career.
Gulf News spoke to students studying in university to learn if having such classes when they were at work would have helped them plan better in university.
“This is a good move in fact it is a vital one that should have been implemented many years ago. I had a lot of difficulties figuring out what subjects and examinations I should focus on in school and having a counsellor guide me would have been great,” said student Saif Al Khatib, Jordanian, 22.
Salma Beshri, Egyptian agreed adding “I had many friends who changed their majors after two or three years of studying. I think that having counsellors would help guide students and even prevent them from wasting time and money in university studying in majors that they are not passionate about.”