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What if your parents don’t agree with your study choice?

Many Matriculants considering their study options for next year are finding themselves in the difficult position of being at odds with their parents or guardians about their preferred direction. While this conundrum has always been around, it is even more pronounced today, given that there are a myriad qualifications and careers that didn’t exist even a few years ago.

Parents often have expectations of the potential careers they see their children pursuing and it can be hard for them and their children to get on the same page when the parents are in favour of the more traditional qualifications, while the child would prefer to pursue a qualification the parents don’t know much about.

Education experts say it is important for families to have a respectful dialogue based on facts and research when they find themselves in this position.

The following might help both parent and child:

DO THE RESEARCH AND UNDERSTAND THE OPTIONS

There are many more study options today than in the past. The range of qualifications on offer has grown exponentially, while the institutions offering them have also multiplied. All registered and accredited higher education institutions – whether they be public universities or private – are registered by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET). They are only registered if they have been accredited by the Council on Higher Education (CHE) and registered by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).

Looking up a qualification on the NQF is as easy as going to the SAQA website and typing in a few words. An institution should also be able to give you the SAQA identity number immediately. This means that prospective students and their parents can be confident about the bona fides of any qualification they want to pursue, provided that the institution is recognised by DHET and the programme is listed on the NQF which can be found on the SAQA website.

FACE REALITY

The world of work looks a lot different today than it did a decade ago, with numerous new and emerging careers on offer, such as brand management, big data analysis, app development, and digital design, to name a few. The traditional, generic 3-year degree is no longer a golden ticket to landing a job.

Prospective students would do well to pursue a career-focused qualification which fits well with their talents and interests, and which will prepare them to step into the workplace with confidence. Career-focused qualifications will often also include work-integrated learning, which allows students to build a portfolio of work throughout their time at varsity. This puts them in a much stronger position after graduation when applying for a position.

UNDERSTAND THE MARKETPLACE

What can you do with your qualification after graduation? That is an important question to ask before committing to a programme. A great way to determine the demand for a qualification and your future earning potential, is to look at career sites and job ads, to see how much demand there is in marketplace. Speaking to an advisor at a higher education institution’s career centre can also go a long way to clarifying your prospects post-graduation.

UNDERSTAND THE MOTIVATION FOR STUDYING

Pursuing a degree requires a substantial investment of time and money. And handling the demands of higher education and young adulthood is not a walk in the park. The dropout rate among first years is very high, in part because the reason for heading to university wasn’t sound.

So if the motivation for further study is for the sake of status rather than to lay the foundations for a specific and successful career, or if a student is only studying to fulfil the wishes of their parents, it would be better to wait, investigate all the options, and only apply when they have found something that gets them really excited about your future.

Parents need to understand that the best approach now is to study and prepare for a world that’s changing, and that the traditional way and ‘safe’ careers may not be the best course of action.

Students need to understand that while the difference in opinion may be frustrating, it is up to them to present their case calmly, clearly and respectfully, with the research to back up the viability and prospects of their choice.

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What if your parents don’t agree with your study choice?

Many Matriculants considering their study options for next year are finding themselves in the difficult position of being at odds with their parents or guardians about their preferred direction. While this conundrum has always been around, it is even more pronounced today, given that there are a myriad qualifications and careers that didn’t exist even a few years ago.

Parents often have expectations of the potential careers they see their children pursuing and it can be hard for them and their children to get on the same page when the parents are in favour of the more traditional qualifications, while the child would prefer to pursue a qualification the parents don’t know much about.

Education experts say it is important for families to have a respectful dialogue based on facts and research when they find themselves in this position.

The following might help both parent and child:

DO THE RESEARCH AND UNDERSTAND THE OPTIONS

There are many more study options today than in the past. The range of qualifications on offer has grown exponentially, while the institutions offering them have also multiplied. All registered and accredited higher education institutions – whether they be public universities or private – are registered by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET). They are only registered if they have been accredited by the Council on Higher Education (CHE) and registered by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).

Looking up a qualification on the NQF is as easy as going to the SAQA website and typing in a few words. An institution should also be able to give you the SAQA identity number immediately. This means that prospective students and their parents can be confident about the bona fides of any qualification they want to pursue, provided that the institution is recognised by DHET and the programme is listed on the NQF which can be found on the SAQA website.

FACE REALITY

The world of work looks a lot different today than it did a decade ago, with numerous new and emerging careers on offer, such as brand management, big data analysis, app development, and digital design, to name a few. The traditional, generic 3-year degree is no longer a golden ticket to landing a job.

Prospective students would do well to pursue a career-focused qualification which fits well with their talents and interests, and which will prepare them to step into the workplace with confidence. Career-focused qualifications will often also include work-integrated learning, which allows students to build a portfolio of work throughout their time at varsity. This puts them in a much stronger position after graduation when applying for a position.

UNDERSTAND THE MARKETPLACE

What can you do with your qualification after graduation? That is an important question to ask before committing to a programme. A great way to determine the demand for a qualification and your future earning potential, is to look at career sites and job ads, to see how much demand there is in marketplace. Speaking to an advisor at a higher education institution’s career centre can also go a long way to clarifying your prospects post-graduation.

UNDERSTAND THE MOTIVATION FOR STUDYING

Pursuing a degree requires a substantial investment of time and money. And handling the demands of higher education and young adulthood is not a walk in the park. The dropout rate among first years is very high, in part because the reason for heading to university wasn’t sound.

So if the motivation for further study is for the sake of status rather than to lay the foundations for a specific and successful career, or if a student is only studying to fulfil the wishes of their parents, it would be better to wait, investigate all the options, and only apply when they have found something that gets them really excited about your future.

Parents need to understand that the best approach now is to study and prepare for a world that’s changing, and that the traditional way and ‘safe’ careers may not be the best course of action.

Students need to understand that while the difference in opinion may be frustrating, it is up to them to present their case calmly, clearly and respectfully, with the research to back up the viability and prospects of their choice.

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How to manage your time during final exams

With Matric finals underway and learners heading to exam venues, the bulk of reviewing should now be over, and the limited time available during the exams should be strategically managed, an education expert says.

The National Senior Certificate exams represent the culmination of 12 years of hard work, and will play an important part in determining what options are open to you after school. But even though the final exams are an undeniably important milestone, learners shouldn’t become overwhelmed by the stress of exams and the fear of failure.

Planning and reviewing should now move from the general to the specific by doing the following:

GET ORGANISED

Just before you enter the exam period is a good time to review your study schedule. What work do you still need to cover, and how much time will you have between papers? Draw up a new roster taking into account the realities of the next few weeks and ensure you stick to it.

Create a neat working environment and a clear plan for what you need to do and study every day, and ensure that you have all the necessary materials sorted and on hand.

NARROW DOWN YOUR REVIEWING

Once you enter the exam period, you should have adequately covered all your materials. With little time available between papers, you must now focus your attention on the sections of work that are almost certainly going to be tested and master them, rather than trying to re-read all your textbooks in their entirety.

BREATHE, AND GET YOUR HEAD IN THE RIGHT SPACE

Your biggest weapon right now is the ability to remain calm and perform under pressure. Download one of the many mindfulness apps available online (Headspace is a good one), and invest 5-10 minutes in calming down your nerves before you step into the exam room. Managing your anxiety ahead of each paper will go a long way towards helping you avoid mind blanks during the exam.

STAY HEALTHY

Don’t start stress-eating or staying up into the early morning hours before an exam to cram. No matter how hard you worked, if your body and mind are tired and worn out, you won’t be able to accurately reflect your effort in your papers.

Take regular scheduled breaks, get plenty of water, exercise and sleep, and ensure you eat as healthy as possible.

DON’T STRESS ABOUT PAPERS ALREADY WRITTEN, BUT DON’T RELAX TOO SOON EITHER

As the exam progresses and the list of subjects you still need to write become shorter and shorter, don’t start relaxing too soon. Keeping the focus right until the end and working for each mark can mean the difference between being accepted into the institution and course of your choice, or having to look at other options.

On the other hand, if things didn’t go well in one subject, let it go and focus on what lies ahead. Stop stressing about the subjects you’ve already written, because there is nothing more you can do about those results. You can, however, still make up for a disappointment by focusing and performing as well as possible in upcoming papers.

DEFER YOUR CONCERNS, BUT KEEP THE END GOAL IN MIND

What if I don’t pass as well as I need to? Have I left applying to uni too late? Don’t let questions such as these take up mental energy during the exams. Instead, keep a laser focus on the task at hand – doing as well as possible on each paper, and earning every point you possibly can.

It is helpful to continually visualise your plans for next year, and match that dream with the performance you need to get there. But don’t let these motivational thoughts turn negative. After the exams, you still have time to investigate all your study options, and to match your interests and performance to the amazing higher education paths available..

Categories
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How to manage your time during final exams

With Matric finals underway and learners heading to exam venues, the bulk of reviewing should now be over, and the limited time available during the exams should be strategically managed, an education expert says.

The National Senior Certificate exams represent the culmination of 12 years of hard work, and will play an important part in determining what options are open to you after school. But even though the final exams are an undeniably important milestone, learners shouldn’t become overwhelmed by the stress of exams and the fear of failure.

Planning and reviewing should now move from the general to the specific by doing the following:

GET ORGANISED

Just before you enter the exam period is a good time to review your study schedule. What work do you still need to cover, and how much time will you have between papers? Draw up a new roster taking into account the realities of the next few weeks and ensure you stick to it.

Create a neat working environment and a clear plan for what you need to do and study every day, and ensure that you have all the necessary materials sorted and on hand.

NARROW DOWN YOUR REVIEWING

Once you enter the exam period, you should have adequately covered all your materials. With little time available between papers, you must now focus your attention on the sections of work that are almost certainly going to be tested and master them, rather than trying to re-read all your textbooks in their entirety.

BREATHE, AND GET YOUR HEAD IN THE RIGHT SPACE

Your biggest weapon right now is the ability to remain calm and perform under pressure. Download one of the many mindfulness apps available online (Headspace is a good one), and invest 5-10 minutes in calming down your nerves before you step into the exam room. Managing your anxiety ahead of each paper will go a long way towards helping you avoid mind blanks during the exam.

STAY HEALTHY

Don’t start stress-eating or staying up into the early morning hours before an exam to cram. No matter how hard you worked, if your body and mind are tired and worn out, you won’t be able to accurately reflect your effort in your papers.

Take regular scheduled breaks, get plenty of water, exercise and sleep, and ensure you eat as healthy as possible.

DON’T STRESS ABOUT PAPERS ALREADY WRITTEN, BUT DON’T RELAX TOO SOON EITHER

As the exam progresses and the list of subjects you still need to write become shorter and shorter, don’t start relaxing too soon. Keeping the focus right until the end and working for each mark can mean the difference between being accepted into the institution and course of your choice, or having to look at other options.

On the other hand, if things didn’t go well in one subject, let it go and focus on what lies ahead. Stop stressing about the subjects you’ve already written, because there is nothing more you can do about those results. You can, however, still make up for a disappointment by focusing and performing as well as possible in upcoming papers.

DEFER YOUR CONCERNS, BUT KEEP THE END GOAL IN MIND

What if I don’t pass as well as I need to? Have I left applying to uni too late? Don’t let questions such as these take up mental energy during the exams. Instead, keep a laser focus on the task at hand – doing as well as possible on each paper, and earning every point you possibly can.

It is helpful to continually visualise your plans for next year, and match that dream with the performance you need to get there. But don’t let these motivational thoughts turn negative. After the exams, you still have time to investigate all your study options, and to match your interests and performance to the amazing higher education paths available..

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Write your exams fearlessly

Exams can be scary, stressful and intimidating. Fear of not being sufficiently prepared, fear of not understanding all the work, fear of going ‘blank’ during the exam, fear of failure. All this is understandable when you are writing exams.  It is also essential that we understand that fear, given the opportunity, will slow us down and even stop us from achieving our goals during exams.

1. Know that you are capable and even though the task ahead may seem insurmountable, you have within you the power to make it work for you. Your power lies in your ability to start preparing for the exams TODAY. Do not look back at what you believe have been your failures in the past—focus only on doing what it takes to achieve the best that you can in the next few weeks.

2. Break your study schedule into bite-sized manageable pieces. Use a calendar to plan what you will focus on each day and tick off completed tasks. This will keep you focused, bit by bit, on crossing that finish line successfully.

3. Take some time for self-care. Get enough rest, choose to eat healthily, and get some exercise. This will keep you energised throughout the exam process.

4. Be mindful of the company that you keep- even on social media. Hang out with people who are positive-thinkers, determined and hard working. You can respectfully distance yourself from negative-thinking people without having to explain yourself. Fearful people will inevitably assist you in allowing fear into your own life. Choose to keep yourself motivated by keeping company with motivated people.

5. Do not allow yourself to believe in the impossibility of things! You can turn any challenges around by focusing on what you can achieve instead of what you believe you can not!

6. Work on past exam papers! Ask for help when you are unsure of something. Get to know that structures of exam papers and how the questions are asked. This will give you the confidence to write the exam!
When fear comes knocking at your door, do not let it in! Focus on the points above, take some deep breathes and you will see how fear loses interest and disappears! You can do this!.

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EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT SOUTH AFRICA

Over 350 learners with disabilities have enrolled for the Early Childhood Development level 4 learnership at Eskilz College. The learners are doing three to four months theory and nine to 10 months practicals, and next year they will be enrolling in level 5 which will qualify them as Grade R teachers working with children from the ages 0-6 years. The goal for Eskilz College is to close the gap in the demand for Early Childhood Practitioners and to provide skills and employment for people with disabilities.
An Early Childhood Development qualification affords these learners with career opportunities such as working at ECD centres, primary schools and crèches. But Eskilz College doesn’t just want it to end there; the learners will be assisted to register with The South African Council of Educators (SACE) and also assisted and encouraged to open up their own ECD centres in their communities.

Eskilz College is looking for partners to place these learners to do their work placement next year, we are looking for ECD centres, Primary schools and any institutions that need ECD practitioners. The placement will be a 9 to 10 months internship.

The learners are receiving a monthly stipend that covers transport for their theory. This is a great opportunity for the learners and a good way to close the national gap in the need for early childhood practitioners.

To enquire or place a learner contact coo@timmalholding.co.za or call 0100 3000 80

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Funding options for your studies

Looking for a means to fund your studies can be one of the most stressful aspects when thinking of furthering your studies, but there are many options for students who are not financially able to simply pay for each course.

Most of the bigger universities in South Africa offer financial aid to students who are unable to fund their studies and/or have achieved excellent academic results (even more reason to hit the books in matric!)

1. Financial Aid

If you are not in the financial position to pay for your studies, Financial Aid is ample at many of the bigger institutions. You can be eligible for financial aid for a variety of things – primarily of course, if you are not in a financial position to pay for your fees. But there are also financial aid options for people who have excelled in previous studies or academics. To find out whether you are eligible for this aid, you will have to make a stop at your institution’s financial aid office, as details differ from varsity to varsity or college to college.

2. Bursaries & Scholarships

If you’re not interested in taking out a loan and have a good academic record you should consider looking for a bursary or a scholarship. While many universities will know of bursaries that are available to students (so you should definitely ask about these), you can also benefit from looking for your own bursary or scholarship.

3. Student Loans

Student loans are another option for students who are looking to fund their studies – most bank institutions have financing options for students. It is important to consider what taking out a student loan from a bank means. It requires the student begin paying back the loan after they graduate. Student loans also have a huge interest mark-up and require the student start paying between 3-6 months after graduating. It is important to note that you will need a parent or guardian to sign surety and pay the interest until you graduate and can start paying back the loan.

4. NSFAS

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is an option that often works in conjunction with your university of choice by providing funding for students who have little to no familial incomeNSFAS is a government organisation which aims to provide an efficient and sustainable financial aid system for poor yet academically eligible students. NSFAS enables these kinds of students to obtain loans and bursaries at 26 public higher education institutions and 50 technical and vocational education training colleges.

A student who receives a NSFAS loan is required to start paying back the loan at the beginning of the year after the student has become employed or becomes self-employed (irrespective of whether the student has completed his or her studies).

5. Part-time Work

If all else fails, you have the option of working and studying part-time. This is certainly a harder option.  It is one which requires a vast amount of dedication to complete your studies, while being focused and committed to your day job. If working full-time and studying part-time is not an option, consider getting a student job. This can help take the pressure off your parents providing money for living expenses.

There are so many ways to fund your studies in South Africa, so don’t despair if one option doesn’t work for you. The best strategy is always to ask as many questions as you can. Talk to your university or college about funding, job opportunities, bursaries and scholarships.  They might know how to help you fund the most important decision of your life!

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5 Benefits of Upskilling

Studies have shown that investing in corporate training can have enormous long-term benefits for you and your organisation. Upskilling is simply training that allows your workers to do their jobs – but better.

You shouldn’t implement training and upskilling for its own sake. For it to have any value, you need to make sure it is both practical and relevant to the tasks your employees are doing. Today’s worker possesses intrinsic knowledge and understanding of what will work best for them when it comes to perfecting their skills. As an employer, you stand to make an ally out of them by aiding them in that venture. This is how you benefit.

It increases productivity

This is a no-brainer: upskilling your employees enables them to do more in skilled spaces without you needing to hire an expert to do it. They will also spend less time ‘figuring’ things out and more time actually executing tasks.

Upskilling reduces the production error rate, as well as the time employees take to complete tasks. This yields a faster turnaround time and increases your employee’s performance. Essentially, this creates room for more work, and more work means more money.

Also, once one of your team members receives training and understands what they need to do, they can spend more time being creative and developing ideas and strategies in that space, because they have a better understanding of what that space is capable of.

Your business grows

If your business has been around for longer than a year, you know that things don’t always turn out the way you expected – for better or worse. For example, you may have started out only offering auditing services, but client demand has meant you’ve needed to expand your offering to include in-house training.

This means that either you need to outsource those services, or someone else in your company needs to do it. If you don’t expand here, you could lose valuable business. Find a candidate amongst your staff with the capacity and aptitude, and train them in the skills they need. This will save you money in the long run and boost your business, not to mention that it will greatly enhance the value of your products.

Your employees are happier

Investing in employees makes them feel valued and gives them a chance to offer something more than their current capabilities. Empowering them with training allows them to see that you acknowledge their worth and appreciate their challenges in the workspace. One of the key elements in training is motivating your employees to stay with you, inspiring a sense of loyalty in them – and this is really where upskilling can benefit you. Teaching people new and higher-level skills, which equips them to take on more responsible tasks and get a higher salary, is one of the biggest incentives to continue working for a particular company.

A study found that 57% of employees would like additional skills training to progress further in their current company. In a culture where job turnover is extremely high, loyalty is worth investing in.

Upskilling also cultivates a culture of achievement and healthy competition – if your team notices that you are putting money and time into growing employees with a strong work ethic, and who show an eagerness to learn, others will begin putting in extra effort too. Employees win because they feel valued, you win because you make more money.

Previous experience can count towards the process

Depending on a worker’s background, they may be able to count their previous experiences towards a future qualification. By factoring in any work experience that an employee may already have, it is possible to move through an apprenticeship process faster, and skip over foundation skills training.

This wealth of experience can also be a good reason to pursue an apprenticeship in the first place, with this training offering workers a way to formalise the experiences they already have. If employees have years of experience working in a specific trade but don’t have a qualification to reflect that, pursuing an apprenticeship can fill this gap.

New employees will immediately see potential for growth

More new employees who apply to work at your company will know that there is a great chance of them learning what they need to develop a rewarding career.

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Advantages and Disadvantages of taking a gap year

After 18 years in a classroom, you might be ready for a break. Taking a gap year between high school and college gives you an opportunity to recharge your batteries, whether you work, volunteer, or travel the globe, taking time away from school could give you a fresh sense of purpose.

Of course, there are also gap year disadvantages you should know about. Before committing, make sure to consider all the gap year pros and cons.

Advantage: It’ll make your CV look pretty snazzy

A gap year can provide a person with valuable new skills that any employer will be impressed by. Cultural awareness, organization, and an ability to work independently are just some of the skills that are gained by taking a year out.

Disadvantage: You’ll be a year behind

This can be a tough one for many people. They wave as their friends all trek to college and start their new lives and they are left behind. They can’t start their new adventure yet because they don’t have the cash. This is easily offset by working hard and saving cash quickly in order to jet off as soon as possible.

Advantage: You’ll meet new people

On a gap year it’s impossible not to meet new people. Throughout school and college we are surrounded by the same people but taking a gap year allows us to discover others, make new friends, and interact with people from all walks of life.

Disadvantage: You’ll be homesick

It’s something that hits most of us at some point. Whether you’re missing family, friends or simply home comforts, you may find yourself wondering why you chose a life on the road (if you chose to travel for your gap year). But fear not! The joy of travel is that there is always somebody to meet and something to do. Power through and you’ll be glad you did.

Advantage: You’ll have tons of stories

After spending a year away, the stories will mount up; these can be great conversation starters in the interview room, at parties or, simply just to look back on and remember.

Disadvantage: It’s a risk

Sure, it is! But where do we get in life if we aren’t willing to take risks? This is what makes a gap year so exciting; not knowing what to expect is all part of the adventure. The key is to take care and travel with common sense. Fun fact: I’ve yet to meet a gap year traveler or career breaker who “regretted” their decision to hit the road.

Advantage: It’s a long escape from the daily grind

A gap year, for most people, is the period of non-traditional life that you’ll ever have. It is often a once in a lifetime experience and the chance to escape the daily grind. However, if planned right, it will also be an educational opportunity of growth and other benefits and not just a “vacation” or year off. A gap year should be a year on.

 Disadvantage: It can be expensive

This depends on the destination and the duration of the trip but, chances are, when taking a gap year, you’re going to spend quite a bit of cash. The best way to fund a gap year is to work and travel at the same time. It’s also a good idea to plan trips independently as this will cut costs dramatically – for the first-time traveler this may be a little difficult and paying extra for the help of someone to do it for you might be a good idea.

 

 

 

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ECD leaners looking for placement

Over 350 learners with disabilities have enrolled for the Early Childhood Development level 4 learnership at Eskilz College. The learners are doing three to four months theory and nine to 10 months practicals, and next year they will be enrolling in level 5 which will qualify them as Grade R teachers working with children from the ages 0-6 years.
The goal for Eskilz College is to close the gap in the demand for Early Childhood Practitioners and to provide skills and employment for people with disabilities.
An Early Childhood Development qualification affords these learners with career opportunities such as working at ECD centres, primary schools and crèches. But Eskilz doesn’t just want it to end there; the learners will be assisted to register with The South African Council of Educators (SACE) and also assisted and encouraged to open up their own ECD centres in their communities.

Eskilz College is looking for partners to place these learners to do their work placement next year, we are looking for ECD centres, Primary schools and any institutions that need ECD practitioners. The placement will be a 9 to 10 months internship.

The learners are receiving a monthly stipend that covers transport for their theory. This is a great opportunity for the learners and a good way to close the national gap in the need for early childhood practitioners.

To enquire or place a learner contact coo@timmalholding.co.za or call 0100 3000 80

 OPTIONS

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