New Era Newspaper

New Era Epaper
Icon Collap
Home / Opinion - You have made the right decision to study

Opinion - You have made the right decision to study

2022-03-11  Prof Jairos Kangira

Opinion - You have made the right decision to study

This week, I dedicate this article to thousands of students who have enrolled for different qualifications with various higher education institutions in the country. Some students have registered to study for certificates, diplomas, postgraduate diplomas and bachelor’s degrees. Others have embarked on their master’s and doctoral studies at the beginning of the 2022 academic year. Some have chosen to study at public institutions while others have chosen private institutions.

 My message to all of you is that you have made the right decision to study, never take a step backwards. There is something that has been goading you to take the decision you have taken, and that inner push or drive will guide you throughout the period of your study, regardless of the time it will take you to complete your qualification. Some of you have chosen qualifications in education, medicine, social sciences, humanities, pure sciences, engineering, agriculture, and other fields of study. From experience, I have noticed that students who choose their fields of study without the influence or interference of parents, siblings and friends do well in their studies and complete their studies in stipulated timeframes. 

In some cases, as evidenced by a study carried out by Leach and Pattal (2013), “low career maturity levels among students was signalled by lack of preparedness for career decision making. Students selected courses and careers preferred by parents and close associations rather than from their knowledge of self, of occupations and their confidence to integrate the two.” In most cases, the situations described by Leach and Pattal lead to retention problems, changes in courses or programmes or dropping out of university completely.

The essence of listening to the inner soul is therefore of paramount importance at the beginning of choosing which career to pursue and this begins at first-year level in the case of undergraduate students. Thus, for undergraduate students, while some know exactly what they want to study from the word go, others need professional career guidance. The latter group of students should obviously “understand their options and different paths to work, to plan the steps they need to take, and to get from where they are to where they want to go; be inspired about new opportunities they might not have known about (or that might not exist yet), or thought they could not achieve; understand their own knowledge and skills and how they can be used in the workplace” (Department for Education, UK, 2017, p. 5).  

Related to the above, Martha Oigo and Veronica Kaluyu (2016, p.519) contend that “career guidance has had a positive impact on students particularly when the career guidance is comprehensive. It can increase the efficiency of education programmes by identifying learning needs, and helping students in identifying appropriate courses, expand their career choices and challenge them to break personal limits. Additionally, career guidance is linked to increased readiness of students to make career choices by increasing their ability to plan their careers and make successful transition into the labour market.” Although Oigo and Kaluyu carried out their study in Kenya, their results apply to the tertiary education sector in Namibia and other countries. 

As I see it, the most important thing is that you have started your studies. You should remember that your professors, the doctors and nurses you see – the engineers, the scientists, the social workers and teachers, among others, all had a beginning similar to yours in their academic journeys. The point I am making is that you have made the right decision to commence your studies. As long as you follow instructions from your lecturers, you will successfully complete your studies. Over the years, I have always advised my students to take their academic work seriously and not to be distracted by too much social life. It is true that social life will always be there after completing your studies, but this is not to say that you should confine yourself to studies only. Remember that too much work or study without entertainment makes Jack a dull boy. So, take part in some of the extra curriculum activities that your institution offers; this is important for your growth as a rounded individual. 

At the same time, it is important to remember that time flies, and that procrastination is the thief of time. Equally, seriously note that time, like a tide, waits for no man. What this means is that there should be no time to procrastinate when you have been given assignments and projects to do by your lecturers. When you work steadily with your lecturers and teaching assistants or tutors, you will enjoy the academic journey you have chosen. You will find that studying at tertiary level is a fulfilling undertaking when you choose the right area of study; it is something that all youths should experience.

If you have joined higher education institutions in Windhoek, and you are coming to the city for the first time, be careful of the dangers in the city. Many unsuspecting students have been derailed from their studies and swallowed by the ‘pleasurers’ of the city.  It is disheartening to see some young men and women who are focused on their studies at the beginning, falling prey to the illicit activities of the city that eventually corrode them and completely destroy them. Young female students should always be wary about some sly city men who lure young girls with money and trinkets only to dumb them or kill them when there are problems. Young girls should shun such men who always are wolves dressed in sheep’s clothes, as they say. Young men who come to the city are not spared either. Never entertain the uncouth city men who peddle drugs and other illicit substances. Concentrate on your studies, as this is the only way to a better future.

Tertiary students, as you read this article, I want you to tell yourself that you have made the right decision to commence your studies this year. The rewards you will get after completing your programmes are great. Your institutions will do their best to assist achieve your dreams.  

Send comments to:

2022-03-11  Prof Jairos Kangira

Share on social media