Planning for Your Children's
Mr Vel Puke, who comes from Waitara and is Senior Vocational Guidance Officer in Christchurch, describes this free service which offers parents and their children advice on careers.
‘What do you want to be when you leave school, Hemi?’
‘Aw I dunno. Something will turn up.’
I have heard this too often to think that it is an isolated incident. Many young people today do not worry much about careers, and this is particularly noticeable amongst Maoris. The reasons for this attitude are not altogether clear, but it was not so long ago that these decisions were made by the elders, and the younger folk did what was decided for them. With the breakdown of the old way of life it is sometimes difficult for the old people to see that the world of yesterday is gone, and that it is becoming necessary for the younger people to plan the future for themselves. This is what the Pakeha youth has to do, and the Maori youth must do likewise.
Often Less Able to Help
The main difference I have noticed between the Pakeha approach and the Maori approach is that Pakeha parents are more involved in their children's future. Because of this they make enquiries, and find out everything they can about possible careers. Maori parents tend to let their children battle this out for themselves, and are not able to help in discussions and offer encouragement because they do not know about the careers that their children are interested in. Of course these are generalities, but they are true enough.
As I see it, the main problem is that Maori parents often do not know about the facilities and services which are available to advise them on this question of careers. The Vocational Guidance Service is there to help you; it is a free service, and is available throughout the country.
A branch of the Education Department, the Vocational Guidance Service helps young people to prepare for and enter a suitable career. Vocational Guidance Officers are trained to give skilled advice by relating the children's background and abilities to the careres which are open to them. In order to assess these abilities and potentials, they may use psychological tests (not so frightening as it may sound), and interview parents, teachers, social workers, and past employers. The object is to build up as complete a picture of the individual as possible.
Several Possibilities Discussed
After this the boy or girl is ‘matched’ with several career possibilities. All aspects of these are fully discussed—details of the work performed, training, prospects and pay, etc.—and the individual decides for himself which he considers to be most suitable. Since this process takes some time, boys and girls should, ideally, interview a Vocational Guidance Officer early in their last year at school.
After the decision is made, Officers help to find a suitable vacancy, and later make follow-up enquiries during the first year of work.
Assistance in Country Districts Also
Vocational Guidance Centres are located in Auckland, Hamilton, Napier, Lower Hutt, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. Assistance is always available at these centres. Also, most secondary schools in the country are visited by Vocational Guidance Officers at least twice each year. In the country schools they follow the same procedure as that discussed above, but there is less time to spend with each individual. To help offset this, certain teachers in these schools are designated as Careers Advisers. When a Vocational Guidance Officer has interviewed a child, he passes his advice and information on to the Careers Adviser, who gives the boy or girl further guidance.
The important thing is that in this way country children can get information about careers which are not available in their own district.
This is glossing over the details quite
severely, but the basic principles are clear. Clear enough, I hope, to start Maori parents thinking about careers for their children. And doing something about it. If you live in a city with a Vocational Guidance Centre and you need careers advice for your child, ring up and make an appointment for an interview. If you live in a country area, make sure your child puts his name down to be seen by a Vocational Guidance Officer on his or her next visit. If possible, arrange a time and go along yourself. It is a free service, and the facilities at your disposal are considerable.
Best Applicant Will Get the Job
Why should you worry about this? The answer is that more and more Maori youths must go to the cities to find suitable employment, and it is in the cities that they have to compete for jobs. It is at this stage that their abilities and school record receive a close look—and it is here that sound planning shows up. The world is becoming more and more technically inclined, and to get such jobs youths must prepare themselves adequately. Maoris must qualify like Pakehas so that they can compete with the Pakehas. Quality of performance is what employers are looking for, and the best applicant, Maori or Pakeha, will get the job.
This is why you should worry!
There are several other Maoris who, like the author of this article, have positions as Vocational Guidance Officers. They are Miss Maria Mako in Auckland, Mrs C. E. Papesch and Mr Bob Koroheke in Hamilton, and Miss Pani Witana in Napier.
A Maori school-teacher in Rotorua, 35-year-old Mr Peter Anaru, has been named by the New Zealand Jaycee organisation as one of the three most outstanding young men in the country.
Mr Anaru, whose selection was announced at the National Jaycee Convention last October, was nominated by the Rotorua and District Head Teachers' Association.
He is first assistant master at the Rotorua Intermediate School and is a major in the Hauraki Regiment of the Territorial Army. He served for three years in Malaya, and was mentioned in dispatches.
Mr Anaru is vice-president of the Rotorua Management Committee of the Educational Institute, and is active in many other aspects of educational and community service.
A young printing apprentice, Mr Horowai (Bubs) Pomana, has shown courage and determination of a high order in overcoming in his work the handicap of having disabled hands and being confined to a wheelchair.
After six years' training, he is now the head of the printing shop at the Pukeora Home for the Disabled, Hastings, and recently received from the Master Printers' Association a special award of merit for his high marks in the printers' theory examinations.
In presenting the award, the president of the Hawkes Bay Master Printers' Association Mr N. Wilson, said that few printing apprentices who had trained and studied under ideal conditions could have equalled Mr Pomana's examination results.
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A Maori resident of Palmerston North, who wishes to remain anonymous, has transferred to the Maori Education Foundation her interests in two blocks of land in the Wanganui area. The annual rents earned by this land will now accrue to the Foundation.
The land interests are valued at a total of £219 and produce approximately £11 a year in rent. Judge Smith of the Maori Land Court who granted the transfer order expressed the hope that other Maori people would follow the example of the donor.
The Foundation feels that this is a most generous gift which will provide a continuing income.
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When Kiri Te Kanawa won the Melbourne Sun Aria Contest a few months ago, the pianist was Miss Barbara Connolly, who is also of part Maori descent. The daughter of Mr Harry Connolly of Ruatoria, Barbara has been Kiri's accompanist during many of her other competition successes also.
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An American university student aged 22, Mr Gerald Kirk, asks if there is a Maori, perhaps about his own age, who would like to correspond with him. Mr Kirk is a student of traditional Polynesian culture. His address is 2722 Broadway East, Seattle, Washington 98102. U.S.A.