PLEASE allow me to respond to the Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande's statement that teachers need to be career guidance counsellors.
On the face of it that might seem easy to do, but on deeper analysis of what is required of a teacher - first to carry out the task of teaching and then what is required of an education institution to be an effective trainer of scholars - one sees an insurmountable task facing teachers.
The mistake communities make is that they delegate their children's upbringing to teachers.
That is a mistake because teachers are at school to execute the education department's curriculum, nothing else.
If you want teachers to be career guiders as well you have to train them in economic planning so that they can advise pupils to study careers that will help the country achieve its economic objectives.
If you don't do that you can expect teachers to advise students to study careers and programmes that the teachers believe are good, but which might not necessarily be good for the country.
For instance, if you have a teacher who believes that social ills can be cured by having more social workers and police officers, that teacher might advise pupils to study for a BA and major in social sciences.
Unless you have a trained career guider who understands the economic objectives and fully understand the structure of the economy, you will continue to have students who choose careers that are right for themselves, but not necessarily for the economic model and objectives of the country.
Matela Mthwalo, Matlosana