A career guidance counselling and assessment programme for disadvantaged high schools, in the case of the Eastern Cape, in South Africa

The study is a career assessment and counselling programme for disadvantaged high schools in the Eastern Cape Province, in South Africa. The specific aim was to guide learners through a process of career exploration in order to make appropriate career choices and plans. The sample consisted of 90 blacks, 1 coloured and 2 Indians from selected schools in the Eastern Cape Province. The main objectives were to formulate a career assessment and counselling programme, as an ongoing process of change, and not as an event, to empower disadvantaged students through their participation in the process; to nurture learning through engendering a tolerance of mistakes and differences in ideas, and to provide opportunities for the development of all. Using a qualitative research design, self-administered questionnaires were distributed to respondents. A convenient/purposive, non-probability sampling procedure was utilised. Descriptive statistics were used to to analyse demographic data, including frequencies and percentages. Qualitative data, obtained from open-ended questions of the survey questionnaire, were content analysed to identify the main themes. Nine themes were identified. The results showed that many disadvantaged high schools did not have educators who were qualified in career guidance issues. Furthermore, there was a lack of governmental support in career guidance in disadvantaged schools. Additionally, there was a lack of equipment and funding required in career guidance. It has been indicated that the use of psychologists and x psychometric assessment in career assessment will improve the quality of career guidance. It can be concluded that many disadvantaged and poor schools do not have educators who are qualified in career guidance issues. Disadvantaged schools do not have adequate resources such as money to pay qualified professionals to help learners in making optimised and better career decisions. The South African government is not supportive of these disadvantaged schools. Learners continue to be ignorant as far as career guidance issues are concerned. Many students are not aware of the benefits of counselling.
A dissertation submitted to the Faculty of Arts in fulfilment of the requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy in Community Psychology in the Department of Psychology at the University of Zululand, 2019.
career assessment and counselling, career exploration