Degrees are no passports for jobs
Mohammad Hussain Khan
It is really sad that even today our system of education operates on unsatisfactory lines. It is obsolete and has not got rid of outmoded hangover. Many commissions have been appointed, committees organized, conferences held but despite their loud recommendations, sagacious suggestions and wise policies, nothing much seems to have been achieved in the matter of designing education to the desired goals.
Young men join colleges so that they may get a degree or a diploma, get a job and may earn their livelihood. Their parents also look upon degrees as a passport to employment. But whenever they apply for jobs they feel frustrated when they do not lay their hands on one. The youth are depressed. The parents are dejected. Naturally under the circumstances they curse the system of education which could be of no use to them.
Certainly, this type of education neither gives them enough skills and confidence to stand on their own feet nor enables them to share the responsibilities and duties in society. As a result of this many of them earn their livelihood by all sorts of odd means without being really productive.
Such a person instead of being an asset to society often proves himself a burden. Unfortunately, the number of such persons is increasing day by day. Not only this, our traditional education otherwise also has a negative role. It makes pupils more unemployable.
A farmer’s son who passes B.A and M.A becomes unfit for unsophisticated farming where clothes are spoiled, hands get dirty and feet all muddy. The house wife’s daughter who passes M.A looks down on housewifery and is all mis-fit for the old house hold drudgery. They all are in search of white collared jobs which are in short supply.
Whenever there is a vacancy there are hundreds of applicants so much so that even for the menial jobs there are thousands of post graduate degree holders standing in the queue. No wonder that even the employers have started asking for candidates with good degrees even for those jobs where they can easily go with people with lesser qualifications. This is one vicious circle that sustains and increases the number of degree seekers in our colleges. Almost every student enrolls into a university in later years, without paying attention to his natural aptitude and inclination.
There is a rat race for admission to universities not for higher learning but to seek a job. True, when the degree does not provide the job it is considered useless and generally at the convocations students are found shouting. We don’t need degrees, we need jobs and then it is not possible for the government to provide jobs to everyone.
We clearly read in the newspapers how engineers, doctors and teachers with high education are unemployed. So far as obtaining a livelihood is concerned the present system of education, certainly cannot be described as successful. It is true that education should prepare our young person’s for different jobs and profession but the job opportunities are created not by educational system but by the system of production.
Education has to become meaningful, purposeful, useful and relevant to life. This necessarily involves appropriate changes in the overall structure, strategies, policies and practices of education.
On such strategy suggested by the educationists is to delink jobs from degrees. This seems to be a delightful idea. Various discussions have taken place. It has been proposed that vocational training facilities at the plus two stage of school education should be expanded in a big way.
In simple words it means in calculation of skills and knowledge through creative and productive activities which may result in the students requiring ability to produce goods and services which are marketable. There are opportunities and challenges awaiting our youth in fields of industry, commerce and even small entrepreneurships. But most of these require kind of skill and training that are not imparted in the universities and colleges. No wonder that our best Ph.D and D.SCs are not able to rectify the errors in the switch board nor the know how to repair a watch.
Hence, we have to be “Mechanics” and “Technicians” to manage these. Let us make students skilled and technically fit in order to have good opportunities for career and employment. The ability of the student alone should determine his future and not degree.
(The writer can be reached at [email protected])