Monday, November 21, 2011

A level qualified students eligible for Universities and Vocational Training

Is the President day-dreaming by stating the above in the budget speech? After all they have always been eligible, so this is nothing new. What he should have said is that the government will provide vocational training opportunities, first by seminars to ascertain skill levels and interest levels, and provide commensurate training at subsidized rates to all who qualify. One must be specific not vague.

I hasten to remind the reader that only 600 of the more than 10,000 schools provide science education at A levels, which restrict the choices of the students by a great deal, resulting in them taking subjects that are a waste of time for their future employment prospects. The main subjects that are taught due to the shortage of teachers and equipment in other subjects are Sinhala and Buddhist Civilization. Few if any of the students who follow these courses find these subjects useful later in life, and it is therefore most important that alternative more productive subjects are offered for the students to follow. There is NO POINT blaming the student for the predicament he or she finds him or herself in.

It is indicative of how completely out of touch the leaders of Sri Lanka are on the real situation, and the huge problem of matching skills with employment for young people. There has not been any implementation of constructive ideas to solve this gaping problem in the labor force. I believe if we put our mind to solving this problem many other issues will simply fade away. It is important to have an educated and productive labor force, who have moral values as well as a vision for what they personally want to achieve and a route map to achieve them. If they have that they will have hope and a lot of frustration, anger and abuse can be eliminated.

Parents still try to control these wayward young adults, looking to people like us in politics to find them jobs. We then have to deal with these ill informed, unmotivated aimless people who are begging for clerical jobs, as if they are the most valued, and that pay well. Any other employment that is found for them even with future prospects for the talented and motivated, is rejected!

Using the vocational training word and abusing it is not the way. The courses offered must be thought out very carefully. Take for example the Ceylon German Technical and Training Institute(CGTTI) in Moratuwa. It is tough to gain entrance to this establishment that has been running since 1960 and built with help from the German Government. It trains motor mechanics through a very rigorous course, which in turn is well recognized, and the starting salaries of the pupils who leave there with a diploma exceed Rs25,000 a month. Now a graduate can’t get that!! So after 50 years have we not been able to come up with Institutes to match that? That is the core problem.

What is more that qualification is sufficient to get immigrant statues to countries such and Australia and Canada, a prize worth millions to some! talk about vocational training set up to kill!!

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