South African schools must prepare pupils to be future graduates. The journey to tertiary is one that a pupil has to start preparing for when they choose their subjects in grade 9 that they’ll study from grade 10 to 12. It is important that South African schools stress how important it is to make the correct choices when choosing subjects, they must also ensure that the pupils know what they want to study in tertiary and to choose subjects that will fit the requirements of that certain course of study. By doing this schools would be preparing the pupils to be able to gain entry into tertiary institutions.
It is a sad reality that at times most pupils who are able to gain entry into the tertiary institution are actually not prepared for the academic literacy demands of tertiary. Our schools must prepare pupils to be future graduates especially when it comes to academics, pupils should know that tertiary is very different from secondary school, in tertiary they will be able to explore in their field of interest and invest in their personal development. They will experience many changes one of the major being independence, tertiary doesn’t offer the same support structures as high school and so, therefore, it is up to the student to take charge and motivate themselves to think and work independently.
Pupils should know that when they are in tertiary they’ll need to motivate themselves to attend all their lectures and tutorials, as we know that in tertiary the responsibility of a student’s success is theirs, so if they decide to miss class, or don’t hand in assignments etc. they will not get in trouble. They must be taught how to manage their time, everything that they do is crucial as they will be studying towards their career. As we know that tertiary study is harder than high school, the amount of material to learn and the speed at which it is covered will take some getting used to, there are sometimes no revision classes before an exam so the student has to organize this themselves, getting together with their peers to revise, and also share notes which are a must-have in tertiary if they want to be graduates.
Aside from the academic side, tertiary is about mingling and meeting new people, people from all around South Africa, it is also a place where one gets to explore new things. The pupils must be taught that it’s important to have fun, as much as they have come to study they are also entitled to a bit of fun, by participating in school events, and other extramural activities. However, they must be careful not to have too much fun or let their extramural activities get in the way of their studies. There are also clubs and societies that they can join, they offer wonderful cultural, sporting and voluntary activities. As a member, students who want to be future graduates will have an opportunity to develop themselves whether it’s their leadership skills through committees and student councils.
Beginning to prepare for to be future graduates, schools need to intervene at grade 9 level when pupils are choosing subjects that they’ll study, from then on it’s an ongoing preparation process that South African schools should not take lightly. By preparing these young pupils it will make the transition easier and they won’t have problems adjusting to tertiary life, our Schools can go as far as inviting people who will shed some light on how to be prepared for tertiary. It is important that myths about tertiary are addressed, and mostly to stress that the freedom that comes with being a tertiary student needs one to be responsible.