Parents and education experts have expressed divergent views on whether or not it is appropriate for parents to decide on career choice for their children.
Some of these experts, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja, cautioned parents on imposing or forcing their children and wards to pursue certain career they don’t like.
According to them, the parents play vital role in influencing their children’s career choice; they, however, warned on the negative consequences of forcing children to study certain courses against their wish.
Mr Godwin Bossan, an educationalist, said the non involvement of children in choice of their preferred career would have negative impacts on their entire future.
“ At times parents mount pressure on their children to study a course not of their own choice, which might affect their productivity, determines how well they perform and their future at the long run.
“ That is why, we have a lot of unqualified persons in some fields they don’t have passion for the profession, thereby endangering and putting lives at risk because they were compelled to study certain courses they had never wanted.
“So, there is a need for parents to understand the effects of their actions, which has the potential to make or break a child in their chosen career,’’ he said.
Similarly, Mrs Blessing Musa, a school teacher, stressed the role parents play in influencing the career choice for their children, however, urging them to allow children to make their decision.
“Every parent desires that their children succeed in all spheres of lives and in their quest to ensure that, they consciously or unconsciously navigate them towards professions they feel was appropriate for them.
“ Some parents insist they want their children to be in specific class, because they want them to become doctors, lawyers or engineers without putting into consideration the child’s preference, performance and the teachers’ advice.
“They should know that the child has choices, and should be given an opportunity to make decisions concerning his or her future, but with their guidance when they feel they are following the right paths.’’
However, some parents explain that certain factors such as inadequate job opportunities, risk and the economy situation compelled them to make career decision for their children.
Mrs Felicity Nkem, a mother of four residing in Nyanya, Abuja, told NAN that she discouraged her first son from joining the military due to risk involved and influenced his decision into venturing into business.
“ I know life is full of risk, but I purposely discouraged my son from joining the military, despite his pleas and passion for it knowing fully the risk involved in the profession.’’
Mr Samuel Ade, a legal practitioner, said he came from a family of lawyers, so would ensure one of his kids continue with the family tradition.
“ My grandfather was a lawyer, my father is one and I will ensure that I encourage at least one of my children to continue with the family tradition and moreover; it is a very good profession,’’ he said.
Mrs Anne David, a nurse and mother of three, said she encouraged her last daughter, who displayed passion for the nursing profession to venture into it.
“ She had always liked the nursing profession since when she was small and I, therefore, encouraged her by dressing her as a nurse on school career days because I saw that innate qualities of the profession in her.
“ Also, with the high rate of unemployment, I believe that when she finishes her studies at the university, she will find it easy gaining employment or relocating abroad to work,’’ she said.