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The Education Pathway, but which path?

“Me fail English, that umpossible”. These are the words of the animated character Ralph Wiggum from the TV series The Simpsons. I would often joke, and quote this in high school as I was not, in any way, a good English student. Humor was a way that I was able to redirected people from laughing at me to laughing with me, or so I thought. It’s clear that the “main” path of education is by completing year 12 VCE and going onto university. As soon as your step off that path you’re lost. “I stepped off the path”.

As Michael Absalom from the Jobs and Skills Centre pointed out, why is it if you don’t finish year 12 VCE and want to go to university you’re on an “alternative” path? Why is VCAL, TAFE or a fantastic and supportive school like WAVE school the “alternative”? Am I a lesser person because I did not take the main path? This is what kids like me hear and feel when these types of pathways are talked about as the alternative or lesser option.

We are told time and time again to get a good job we need to finish Year 12 VCE and go to University. We know from both Andrew Hardiman, Jobs, Skills & Pathways Manager – Department of Education and Training and previous speaker Simon Kuestenmacher, a Top 50 Demographer in the world, that those who do complete Year 12 VCE and go on to complete a university degree will have a higher income, but does this necessarily coincide to happiness or work life balance?

The Senior Secondary Schooling Pathway Reform is well underway and working towards ensuring all students have equal access and every opportunity to reach their potential taking the best path for them.

The complexity of the education system and how to navigate it is a difficult conversation, but a conversation we all should be having.

We would like to thank our passionate and informative speakers at the Skilling our Region for the Future program day, Kate Roache – Executive Officer Beyond the Bell, Damien Farley – Principal WAVE school, with former WAVE students Kree Square and Monique English, Michael Absalom – Careers Practitioner – Skills & Job Centre and Andrew Hardiman – Jobs, Skills & Pathways Manager – Department of Education and Training.

Lynden Brown, 2021 Program Participants

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