Rekindling hope and purpose in resource-constrained areas during COVID-19: The merits of counselling for career construction
Keywords:rekindling hope and purpose, resource-constrained areas, COVID-19, counselling for career construction, self-construction
The COVID-19 pandemic has widened the gap between the career and life chances of learners with sufficient and those with insufficient access to personal and educational resources and structures. This article draws on an adapted, qualitative, systematic literature search to shed light on the effect of the pandemic on learners in resource-constrained areas especially. It discusses the merits of counselling for career construction as an intervention that can bring about transformative change, thereby rekindling learners’ sense of hope and purpose. It also reflects on how counselling for career construction can help counsellors and teachers assist learners to deal with inadequate ‘mastering of passive suffering’ as well as inadequate mastering of developmental tasks during COVID-19. The article concludes with the view that ‘hope-, purpose-, and action’-enhancing counselling for self and career counselling can bolster the sense of agency, empowerment, dignity, and self-worth of learners in underprivileged contexts in particular. It is argued that such counselling can promote career adaptability, improve present and future employability, and enhance the meaning-making of disadvantaged South African as well as other African learners.
- Disadvantaged learners and the unemployed were more negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic than their more privileged counterparts.
- More than 2 years into the COVID-19 pandemic, very little has been reported on the need to bolster the sense of agency, empowerment, dignity, and self-worth of learners in underprivileged contexts in particular.
- The pandemic has amplified the divide between the career-life prospects of learners with sufficient access to educational resources and support and those without such access.
- Steps need to be taken urgently to implement interventions that can bring about transformative change in our schools to rekindle learners’ sense of hope and purpose. This will help eliminate existing disparities and improve these learners’ work–life future, with positive benefits for the stability and economy of the country.
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