Kemjika lists Recipe for Career, Marital Success

103 Inaugural:

For effective and realistic career choice that leads to a rewarding work life, a planned career guidance programme should be introduced in Nigerian secondary schools and manned by professional counsellors, because the foundation of every future career is laid at the secondaryschool level.

Professor Obi Kemjika of the Department of Educational Psychology, Guidance and Counseling, Faculty of Education, made the assertion at the 103rd Inaugural Lecture titled, “Rewarding Work Life and Marital Satisfaction: Key Ingredients for Happiness”, at the Ebitimi Banigo Auditorium, penultimate Thursday. He called on government at all levels to ensure that functional Guidance and Counseling Units are established and adequately equipped, staffed and funded at all levels of education.

“A man is said to have a rewarding work life when he achieves success in his career.  Such a person must also have enjoyed job satisfaction; such a person must have also made realistic career choice too, achievable through a guided career guidance programme. Vocational guidance programmes provide opportunity for every student to set a goal of career excellence in his own line,” he explained.

Defining Guidance as “a developmental process in which an individual is helped or assisted to understand himself and his word”, the Guidance Counselor, who stated that “it involves provision of specialised help by a specialist or professional in the area, whose major purpose is to prevent, remedy and ameliorate human difficulties,” said, describing Counseling as a more personalised element of guiding an individual to career success.

The Lecturer, who observed that guidance services could be conducted or carried out in both school and non-school settings, explained that in a school setting, guidance services areformalisedactivities aimed at making them readily available to students, teachers and even parents, who demonstrate interest and willingness to benefit  from such programmes, identifying  informational, appraisal, counseling, orientation, placement, referral and evaluation as guidance services in a typical school setting.

He condemned a practice whereby parents make career choices for their children and wards. “The choice should be made by the student and must be made out of his or her own volition, after consideration of the career information available,” he advised, adding that imposing career choices on students negatively affect their achievements in the long run.  

Citing an authority, Kemjika said: “Conflict refers to discrete, isolated disagreements as well as chronic relational problems,” advising couples not to shy away from engaging each other in periodic disagreements. “Conflict is unavoidable in a close relationship and very normal. It can lead to marital dissolution when mismanaged or strengthen the bond when effectively resolved,” he emphasized. 

Kemjika, who noted that “the essence of marital guidance is to achieve marital success and happiness, which are measured through marital stability,” pointed out that “When couples see their marriage as good and rewarding relationship, they are said to have marital satisfaction.”

He advised couples to regard spouses as their friends, be supportive of each other, cultivate habits of sharing meals together, attend to each other's needs, show admiration for each other’s physique and exchange text massages, amongst others as a means of strengthening their relationships.

In his closing remarks, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Joseph Ajienka, who stated that every child comes into the world with a peculiar gift and would excel if such gifts are exploited to the fullest, said: “The Lecturer drew our attention to parents and guardians who impose careers on their children,” stressing the need for parents to heed his advice and desist from making career choices for their children and wards.

He cited the case of the late literary icon, Professor Chinua Achebe and multiple award-winning novelist, Chimamanda Adichie, who abandoned medical education to follow their passion—creative writing, in which they excelled to international acclaim. The Vice-Chancellor, who said that “Professor Kemjika had also drawn our attention to career and marriage counseling,” described the lecture as a free consultancy on matters that could otherwise have been paid for by the audience.


By Humphrey Ogu

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