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Author Topic: How our Education System is Failing to Prepare the Students for The Job Market?  (Read 263 times)

samamun

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Bangladesh is getting into focus worldwide for its educational development. There are now countless educational institutions starting from primary schools to universities that are currently functional in Bangladesh. However, what if we look at the result? According to the demographic information unemployment rate of graduates is at 47%. Which means about 1 in 2 student cannot cope up with what is required to secure a job. Not only that, unemployment rate also suggests that those graduates could not do something of their own to earn their living. Question arises naturally: what and how these graduates were taught that about 50% of them cannot even utilize their knowledge just to earn their living? Are students in Bangladesh receiving justice?

To get to the answer we need to look at the need of the market and compare it to the current educational practice. According to a research done by the University of Kent, UK, followings are the top ten skills that employers look within a job seeker:

1. Verbal communication
2. Team work
3. Commercial awareness
4. Analyzing & investigating
5. Initiative/Self motivation
6. Drive
7. Written communication
8. Planning & organizing
9. Flexibility
10. Time management

Also some more skills are found important which are: global skills, negotiating and persuading, leadership, numeracy, computing skills, self-awareness, personal impact/confidence, lifelong learning, stress tolerance, integrity, independence, developing professionalism, action planning, decision making, interpersonal sensitivity and creativity. Employers have found that in most of the graduates that apply for job, these skills are absent. For the graduates, it’s like learning from the beginning even if they manage a job. So we can easily declare that there is a serious gap of skills among our graduates after their graduation.

In contrast to this skill gap, what are the practices being done in the educational institutions? Most of the educational institutions, be it public or private, are stuck with concrete subjects and the delivery method depends solely on lecture. This subject based education is completely ignoring the required skills. Thus students are becoming subject specialists but are not able to convert their knowledge into skills and are failing to meet the requirements of the job. Not only that, they are failing to contribute to their families, which strived many years to ensure that the students get quality education and to contribute to the nation.

Teachers mostly deliver students theories with few examples but there remain lack of activities in the class to put those theories into practice. For lack of teacher training, teachers in most cases do not even realize how to design class activity and how to assess students’ learning in respect of skills to demonstrate their learning in real life scenario.

Lessons and courses are not objective based and at the end of the course it remains unknown of what skills the students could gain from those lessons and courses. Assessments are currently done based on theoretical knowledge and not on demonstration of skills. This practice is encouraging students to focus solely on theory.

Guardians are also being misled and are confused on what should be counted as real achievement for their children. As a result, even guardians push their children to focus on subjective knowledge and not on skills. Institutions remaining silent about this practice not knowing what to do themselves and depend on the course teachers to pick the delivery method. Same picture can be seen if we look towards the policy makers and the educational board.

Some changes were made over the years for the education board but those are on the subject patterns and assessment system but completely ignoring skills required to produce efficient and job ready graduates. Few of the private educational institutions are starting to realize what needs to be done but cannot proceed accordingly due to bindings from educational board and approval authority like University Grants Commission (UGC) and lack of proper national policy. Educational institutions also lack proper relation and study on industries and market to identify and decide the requirements industries and markets have from the graduates.

Now if we make assessment of the requirements and practices mentioned above, it can easily be said that the students of Bangladesh is far away from receiving justice in respect of their investment on education. The result being unemployment, lack of skilled manpower and lower national GDP (in contrast to what could be achieved). This also calls for immediate and proper action from the government, concerned policy makers, assessment boards, authorities of the educational institutions and teachers. Only a combined effort can bring in an effective remedy to this situation.
Khondker Mohammad Shah - Al - Mamun