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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Debate on career choice
Debate question: Should parents choose career for their children or allow them to make their own career choice?

Prof. Herbert Eze
Special for ASSIST News Service

NNEWI, NIGERIA (ANS) -- Proposed Motion: Children should make their own career choice.

Opposed Motion: Parents should make career choice for their children.

1st Speaker Proposing that children should make their own career choice

The moderator, panel of judges, time keeper, distinguished audience, my co- debaters, time keeper, ladies and gentlemen. My name is________________. I am here to propose the motion that children should make their own career choice. Let me define career as a sequence of occupations, jobs, and position engaged in or occupied throughout the lifetime of a person. Career is much more that having a job or earning a living. It is a series of roles played by a person.

In a career you can feel that your abilities are being properly used, that the work is worth doing, that it is interesting. It is necessary that a person must make his or her own career choice so that one can choose what matches with their ability, their values and interests in life.

Talking of parents making career choice for their children is unacceptable. It is disastrous to choose for a child what he does not have the ability to do just because it carries a big name. For example a certain man chose that his son should be a medical doctor and paid his way into the university for his son to read Medicine, but it ended in disappointment. After some years of wasted efforts and money, the boy dropped the course for inability and lack of interest to continue. If the man had allowed his son choose a career that match his ability, value and interest, such a waste of effort, time and money would have been avoided.

However, after the father dumped him for a failure, on his own he changed to an area of his interest and ability by enrolling in an Accountancy programme. His story changed from failure to success at school and upon graduation he secured an Accounts job in one establishment and later moved into a big company. He is among the big names in Accountancy in our country. Is it not true that a big name in Accountancy like Akintola Williams, the Nigerian Renowned Chattered Accountant could have been unknown in Nigeria and the world if his parents had chosen that he study Medicine in order to hang the name doctor.

It is wrong to call your child a failure in a course or direction he or she has no interest nor the ability to pursue but due to parentsí choice of a career for that child. Therefore, it is right for children to make their own career choice.

1st Speaker Opposing
The moderator, panel of judges, time keeper, distinguished audience, my co- debaters, time keeper, ladies and gentlemen. My name is________________. I stand to oppose the motion which says that children should make their own career choice. A child is not matured enough to make a career choice. He or she lacks experience. It is for this reason that parents consider it necessary to make this important choice for them. The Bible says that a child left on his own will be a disgrace to his parents.

I disagree with the example given by the first speaker that the father of the boy who could not read medicine made a wrong career choice for him. The truth is that the boy was lazy and did not pay attention to his studies. Success comes only by hard work. Many students think that the university is a get away from home to have an easy life.

Such students make bad friends. They live in luxury and sometimes end up in cult groups. The time they should use to pursue their studies is wasted in such engagements. Since you cannot eat your cake and have it, students who live this way end in disappointment.

The boy whose father chose medicine for him wanted him to be great, and he chose the right career for him. He would have graduated to be a medical doctor if he had worked very hard. We all know how doctors are respected in our society and how lucrative their job is. Therefore the boy is to be blamed not his father.

I totally disagree with the first speaker on the motion that children should make their own career choice. You can agree with me that no child has the maturity and experience to make a career choice.

2nd Speaker Proposing
The moderator, panel of judges, time keeper, distinguished audience, my co- debaters, time keeper, ladies and gentlemen. My name is________________. I am in support of the motion which says that children should make their own career choice. Let us remember that the level of children we address in this talk are not infants but adolescents. To be precise our focus is on teenagers, or children in secondary school. Although they are still dependents, they have gained enough experience from their schooling and from our society to make their own career choice.

Children in secondary school know their areas of best performance and interest. This is a good guide for choosing a career. Their experience and tests in variety of subjects they learnt at school help them to assess their ability. The career choice of a student who performs very well in Arts subjects or Social sciences but poorly in natural sciences cannot be the medical profession. His experience with these subjects indicate that his career choice should be in the Arts or in the social sciences.

Such names as Professor Chinua Achebe, Professor Wole Soyinka and Professor Ben Enweonwu would not have been known to Nigerians if they did not match their career choice with their performance, ability and interest in Arts subjects. Think of if Professor Charles Soludo, the former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had not pursued his interest in Economics for another choice of career made by his parents. How about Mallam Lamido Sanusi Lamido, the incumbent Governor of CBN? Supposing his parents had imposed a career in Engineering on him?

The first speaker spoke well on the disaster of a career choice made by a parent for his son to become a medical doctor which ended in disappointment because the manís choice did not match with his sonís ability, value and interest. However, the story changed for good when the boy settled for his choice of study in Accountancy which led him to a successful career. The lesson in this story is enough to convince my audience that children should be allowed to make their own career choice.

2nd Speaker Opposing
The moderator, panel of judges, time keeper, distinguished audience, my co- debaters, time keeper, ladies and gentlemen. My name is________________.I stand to oppose the motion which says that children should make their own career choice. My colleague earlier noted that children lack experience in making a career choice. It is for this lack of experience that schools provide guidance and counseling services for career choice.

Career choice is not a childís toy, and this is why parents and teachers should not allow children to toy with it. The last speaker spoke of Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, Ben Enweonwu, Charles Soludo and others who became successful because they made their own career choice. How can he prove that they were the ones that made such choices and not their parents? I am here to tell you that their parents would have stopped them if the choices were made by the children and not by their parents.

No child has the money to finance their own career choice. Therefore, saying that children should make their own career choice amounts to nothing since no child can pay their school fees. Parents are the ones who have the experience and money to finance their choice of career for their children. Making a career choice and financing it go together. Therefore, parents should choose career for their children.

3rd Speaker Proposing
The moderator, panel of judges, time keeper, distinguished audience, my co- debaters, time keeper, ladies and gentlemen. My name is________________. I am in support of the motion that children should make their own career choice. It is primitive today to talk of parents choosing career for their children who are graduating from secondary school. You can as well talk of choosing their future husbands and wives for them.

The last speaker talked of Guidance and Counseling programme at school on career choice. Does the programme choose career for children? It makes no sense to say that the Guidance and Counseling programme has been designed by teachers for making career choice for children since this is not the purpose of it. No school counselor can make a career choice for a student. Counselors can provide information and offer advice, but a career choice belongs to the student.

The last speaker also said that parents should make career choice for their children since they are the ones that finance their childrenís education. Let me remind you that the subject of our debate is not who should pays school fees, but who should make career choice- students or parents?

There are many successful people today whose parents were very poor and could not pay their school fees. Help is usually available to students who work hard in their studies to pursue their career dream. There are government scholarships, community scholarships, donations from philanthropists, and financial help from relations and friends. There is also help from above.

Therefore the talk about finance cannot divert our stand that students should make their own career choice. Students who work hard at their career dream cannot be deterred by finance for where there is will there is way.

3rd Speaker Opposing
The moderator, panel of judges, time keeper, distinguished audience, my co- debaters, time keeper, ladies and gentlemen. My name is________________. My speech is against the motion which says that children should make their own career choice. My colleague made it clear to us that making a career choice and financing it go together.

I disagree with the last speaker who said that a studentís career choice cannot be detered by finance due to help from above. One can only laugh at that statement because we know that school fees do not fall from above. God expects parents to pay school fees for their children. When teachers drive you from school for your school fees, it is to your parents that they send you. Therefore, if parents are held responsible for their childrenís school fees, they should be responsible for the choice of their career. This is to guard against making a wrong choice and thereby wasting their hard earned money.

One of my colleagues had earlier warned us with a Bible quotation which says that any child left on their own will be a disgrace to their parents. Let me say that children left on their own can choose their career in armed robbery or in prostitution and thereby disgrace their parents and pollute their society. It has been well said that career choice is not a childís toy. Therefore, children should not be allowed to toy with it.

What more do you need to agree with me that parents are at great risk and danger if they allow children to make their own career choice. Who will be blamed at last? Who will be humiliated and disgraced at the end for wrong choice? Parents should rise up in time to their responsibility and choose career for their children.

Prof. Eze can be reached by email at herberteze@juno.com  Write me your opinion on the above debate.


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This story is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of the ASSIST News Service or ASSIST Ministries.