Let’s start by discussing the purpose and significance of the I Choose Fair. Could you tell us more about the event and why it is organised?
Minister Grima: Sure. The I Choose Fair is an annual event organized by the Ministry for Education, Sport, Youth, Research, and Innovation in collaboration with various stakeholders. It is specifically designed for Year 11 students who have just completed compulsory schooling. The fair aims to provide these students with information and guidance to help them make informed decisions about their future career paths and post-secondary education options.
That sounds like a valuable event for students. What opportunities are available to those who attend the fair?
Minister Grima: The fair offers a range of opportunities. First, there are talks delivered by professionals from different employment and educational sectors. These talks aim to inform students and their parents/guardians about various career opportunities, the required qualities and skills, and insights into different fields.
Additionally, there are one-to-one career guidance sessions with experienced practitioners. This allows students and their parents/guardians to discuss any difficulties or doubts they may have regarding their career choices. The goal is to provide personalized guidance and support.
Furthermore, the fair features stands are by post-secondary institutions and employer representatives. Attendees can visit these stands to gather more information about specific courses, educational institutions, and career paths. They can also seek support from these institutions in terms of career guidance.
It seems like a comprehensive event with a lot to offer. How does the I Choose Fair align with the existing career guidance efforts in schools?
Minister Grima: The I Choose Fair is an excellent complement to the ongoing career guidance work in state schools. Career advisors and guidance teachers in schools, under the direction of the National School Support Services, follow a career guidance programme. This programme focuses on helping students understand their skills, abilities, and interests while developing a critical understanding of the world of work. The fair provides another opportunity for students to explore career and educational options as they transition from compulsory education.
That’s great! It’s essential to provide students with multiple avenues for career exploration. Are there any online resources available for students who cannot attend the fair?
Minister Grima: Absolutely. To further guide students in their choice of educational and career paths, we have developed the Explore More – My Journey Portal. It’s a career web portal created in collaboration with PRISMS, a non-governmental organization. The portal provides information on different career paths and post-secondary courses available locally. It features interactive content, including videos with first-hand testimonies from professionals in various industries and a quiz to help students identify their areas of interest. The portal is accessible in both Maltese and English, and students and parents/guardians can visit it at http://exploremoreproject.eu/en/.
One last question. How does the I Choose Fair emphasize personalised experiences and involve parents/guardians in the decision-making process?
Minister Grima: Personalized experiences are of utmost importance at the fair. We have qualified career guidance practitioners available for one-to-one sessions, providing individual attention to students who require it. This allows for a tailored approach to addressing their specific concerns and doubts.
Parents and guardians are encouraged to attend the fair and gather information that will help them guide their children in choosing their career.