Today, THE VOICE introduces a brand new column ANNOU PALE aimed at stimulating dialogue on some of the most pressing problems facing our country at this time.
We plan that this conversation will continue for some time throwing up ideas and solutions to the problems that have been identified and selected for discussion. You, the reader, have the opportunity to join the debate which in fact, has already started.
We begin by looking at the issue of unemployment and the unavailability of jobs at a time when another 3,000 or so young persons are about to be unleashed onto the job market. The reality is that our country with a 24.9 percent unemployment rate, has made no preparation for them. So what is their future going to be?
So let’s talk….annou pale.
Time cycles. I want a job, I need a job, There are no jobs for me. What am I trained to do. Send an application. “WhatsApps”, Text, e-mail, or letter. What is that? How do they get it? How do they reply to me? I have no address, no computer, no credit on my phone.
What have they been taught at school which would make them useful to an employer? They are unemployable in their present state. They need training but they have just been trained. They are lost, divorced from reality, at their wit’s end.
Their teachers must join them in their prison of inadequacy.
The students are the reflections of their teachers’ limitations and the System, out of touch with reality.
Change the System. Educate for demand, opportunity, and independence.
Every teacher must teach the subject with an end product in mind and this must be shared with the student. “If I pass the exam where will that get me? How can I use it?”
The combination of the subjects taken will form a skill pattern, an intellectual asset, which will be marketable, inculcate confidence and allow for a degree of flexibility to plan a direction in the future. After the final choice of subject has been made the young adult’s future potential should be clear and the necessity for success in the exam crystal clear.
A child should never have to leave school without a realistic opportunity to sit five subjects at CXC.
If there is failure, what are the opportunities for remedial action? This is part of our educational responsibility.
The parents inability to pay the exam fees is an unacceptable excuse for depriving the child of this opportunity. The management of the school must not be allowed to punish the child or hinder its progress in life because its parents were financially deprived, (poor) and unable to pay the bursary charges.
There are skills which help in job hunting. There is advice needed to further an education. Access to all this help and to the answers for the myriad of questions dealing with the uncertainties of life must be provided.
Education should be free so each and every child would have the opportunity to write an exam without the worry of parent’s failure to pay fees.
Many students make the mistake of assuming that their CXC grades or College degrees alone will qualify them for a job. Most of those student spend their school days by partying, and essentially, wasting their time. Most students have no job experience, yet all the jobs out there require it if you want to apply. So they can’t get a job because they have no experience and in order to get a job, they need a job for work experience; but they can’t get a job without work experience and the cycle viciously continues.
I think they should take any job or intern for free at a company they would like to work at, yet again, most of our young people don’t like working without getting paid.
I think quitting too easy is somewhat part of today’s problem. For those students applying for jobs, and not getting any calls back can be depressing. But they don’t look at it in a positive way . They tend to look at it in a negative way. Not getting a call back means something(s) need to be changed. they should use them selves as a product infront of many buyers as possible .I bet they would make a sale. Did you study agriculture? Go ahead grow some crops, visit places, sell yourself as a product, talk to people, be creative. All these little ideas can make the no jobs for me seem less depressed, but with peer pressure and encouragement to sit on the block sunject two and wait for the government; Subject two dreams of crop selling slowly decline and he/she becomes subject one.
Most of our students don’t want to be different; they don’t ask questions, they get lazy, everyone waits for something to happen. They wait for their dream to come closer.
As a member of administration at UWI Mona once announced to a hall packed with students: “UWI Mona is a university where you read for a degree, it is not a trade school!” We send our children to secondary school where they do anywhere between four to nine (sometimes more) subjects at CXC, with a seeming expectation that these CXC subjects will give them the skills and competencies to function in the world of work. Secondary school which teaches Forms 4 and 5 students according to the CXC syllabus, is not a trade school which will make students highly employable upon graduation. This is why there are students graduating with five subjects, including maths and English, who cannot write a proper business letter. Young people are complaining that there are no jobs for them, and whilst there may be some merit to this, allow me to ask the following: What can they do to become employable, and are they prepared to do it? Where is the conversation about teaching young people to create jobs for themselves, rather than relying on the government or private sector to employ them? Where is the conversation about job creation, entrepreneurship and innovation? So many of our young people spend umpteen hours on the internet all day (on sites like Facebook, Instagram, Youtubeetc); how many of them are thinking of ways they can make money from the internet? of developing their own App? Perhaps instead of crying that there are no jobs, it is time to change the conversation and get them thinking proactively about what they can do to earn money.
We must own it…yes we must. I really don’t think we have “teachers of the teachers” in this present day. I used to hear my aunts and uncles talk about their teachers of long ago nothing compared to what we have in this present day. Education before was wonderful so I heard… teachers encouraged you to do things. I’ve spoken to students of different schools, in which I’ve learnt that the teachers of this day and age call students stupid, retarded and all other names. Do they provoke the teachers? Why would a teacher call a student names other than their own? Are they making the students less confident in their dreams? WE NEED MORE ENCOURAGEMENT from THE TEACHERS.
Students will discover greater teaching competence and subject interest on the Web if they encourage their own self to find it, or ask questions…..I’ve seen children go on social media sites and can’t even change their screen setting or use Microsoft word/excel. We won’t blame social media, cause most social media sites have educational activities or things to educate the youth. But us youth just waiting for that loud bang in our ears to say…. do this, do that, search this search that, you know you can be better than this and so forth. YOUNG PEOPLE NEED TO STAND UP AND FIX THEMSELVES. “Let them own it”
Seems to me that we all want to have our various varieties of cake and eat all of them as well. Free education my foot! Whoever heard of any such thing. The song says: “The best things in life are free”. These are the only things that are free: the best things. Look at our education system and its failures. Does that qualify for being “a best thing?” So why should it be free? It’s good, though, that we are now beginning to appreciate the myth from the reality.
It’s no sense today trying to catch a horse that has long bolted out of the stable. We cannot be complaining about jobs when the reality is that we have long muddied these waters by a lifestyle that brought children into the world with no regard for the kind of future that awaited them. You were a farmer with a little plot of land growing crops on sell and feed your family, but you chose to have a large family anyway, four, five, six little ones. You didn’t figure they would need jobs some day. So when you had a few thousand people thinking the same way you did, populating the country with children that were not provided for, what did you think would have been the result? The point is with a burgeoning population, the ability of the State to sustain it and provide for its needs became a problem. As a result standards began to fall, including the calibre of workers– especially teachers–that were coming through. Someone said before jobs, comes education. That’s true, but has anyone taken a look at the education system in recent times? Is there anything taking place in education that inspires hope for the future? Come on people, stop wishing for miracles that just do not happen anymore. All the while our tastes for first world standards of living are being fed; so national priorities begin to go haywire and everything crashes.
We have been so busy over the past 50 years trying to live like the Joneses that we have forgotten the basics of sensible living and now that things are out of control, we are busy trying to do quick fixes.
It’s good to start a conversation like this about jobs and education and so on because it was about time we were hit by a dose of reality. Believe me, not even the computer is going to bail us out of the mess we are in. Imagine being made to settle for a teacher named Google.
Get out of my head! I agree with Alice 100%. To add to what she’s saying though, I think we need to go all the way to the very beginning of a child’s rope. I’m guessing that we can all agree that today’s children are on a completely different wavelength as us fogies and they are fully aware that they are growing with the much needed power of positive change. With that said, I think children need to be trained collectively to recognise, embrace and utilise that power to the advantage of themselves, their generation and the ones behind them. I know that it all sounds complicated but it really isn’t. If you raise a child to know their worth and that their education and future are worth having a voice for, then surely they will know that they have a reason to speak up and make demands for things like free education and no not the bogus “free education” that governments have been fooling people with. I’m talking about the kind of free education where parents really have no excuse to not send their children to school and children have no excuse not to excel. I’m talking about the free education where all parents have to ever pay for up to Form 5 are a pair of socks and shoes, a bag and a crest. I’m talking free as in free food, free uniforms, free books and free travel.
Tall order you may say, but at the end of the day, isn’t education worth it? With education comes jobs which in turn leads to better economies in all aspect be it agricultural or whatever else makes the bucks. Children must be trained to shout for that particular right and like I said it must be a collective effort so that they make it impossible to be ignored. If we can start from there and pull it off then the rest will follow easily IMO