Tuesday, June 19, 2007

We're expecting too much from the government! Let's ease up our demands.

I should have posted this blog three weeks back, but it was MISPLACED somewhere on my Lap top, wrong file name; anyways better late than never.

I’ve heard comments made by the Ministry and their representatives, comments made by MPs, and conversations between people; I’ve read newspaper articles, visited local blog site discussions; all relating to the subject matter of the high unemployment in Bahrain, the steps (or lack thereof) being taken by the government, the ungrateful attitude of Bahrainis being presented with positions, lack of qualifications, unwillingness to start from the bottom up; but the last straw has been the comment that Bahrainis are expecting too much from the government!

I beg to differ;

It’s a ripple effect, consider the events that occur when a pebble is thrown into a POND; the rings that follow suite are large and can be seen by the naked eye, but there are more rings to follow, and gradually they may not be visible but are there and much slower that the first ones, thus their effects are not quickly noticed but rather are felt over a period of time.


It is absolutely the Government’s responsibility to find a lasting solution to this ugly problem, the reason being that the Government has played a large hand in the formula that has led to this situation; mainly because of the questionable economic & social policies in the past, and partly because of its employment policy which has supposedly changed now, but I wouldn’t be able to confirm it since there are no statistics being released (again lack of transparency), also I still see Indian, Pakistani & Baluchi policemen and also lets not forget the foreigners that are in our Armed forces and the Riot police.

What now?

The Government & the EDB has taken up a lot of new initiative to ensure there is sustainable economic growth in the country. That is not enough, there should be changes made in the education system as well as in some other areas that will assist in advancing the skills and knowledge of Bahrainis as well as provide them with opportunities.

A five / ten year plan is needed and the following much be achieved;

Here are the areas that I believe the government can improve in which will reap immediate benefits in the first year at least.

The schools are over crowded; some teachers are not qualified to teach the subjects they have been appointed for. The level of English being taught is not at par with standards required by businesses, additionally, the opportunity to learn other languages is minimal.

More qualified teachers should be recruited to ensure the ‘student / teacher’ ratio is at an internationally acceptable ratio and that each and every child’s needs are catered for.
English is an international language and must be the second if not the first language being taught to children in Bahrain public schools, and they must achieve a high level of fluency and competence.

I find it hilarious that many of the English teachers are themselves products of the public education system, who have graduate and return back as teachers and continue to contribute to the down ward spiral that has led to a sub par level of English.

If I wanted to learn to make bread, you’d find me at the door steps of a baker, not a mechanic’s; this is exactly what’s happening in schools.

If anyone disagrees with me than please explain why there so many parents enrolling their children to study English in the evenings at the British council.

The text books that are being taught are old, and by that I mean that the curriculum is out dated and not relevant to the requirements of the job market, it’s just not practical. There have been many advances in most of the subjects but that knowledge has yet to be transferred over to our children. Fundamental subjects such as Computers, mathematics, accounting, chemistry and physics must be taught to all students. They must be given the opportunity to enhance their knowledge.

By the time the young adults graduate from high school, they should have achieved a level of competence that is comparable to other developed countries. We should learn from small countries like Singapore.

There ratio of children to teachers in Public schools is high which is a major disadvantage

Many of the children in public schools are badly behaved because the teachers can’t control them; the ratio between children to teachers is higher than acceptable level. This prevents the teachers from adequately catering for all the needs of the children and thereby adding to the mediocrity.

The teachers need to be able to control the students this is currently not possible.

Educating Parent;
Parents must be made to understand that they too have a role to play in their child’s lives. Education starts at home, and continues in the schools. Parents must rear their children with a work ethic and good morals. We do not need felons, thugs or rapists, nor does society need dead wood leaching on its resources.

There has to be an initiative by the government, maybe with the assistance from some of the mosques and maatams, parents can be educated on their duties at home. Big brother must lead, and others will follow.

Discontinue selling JOB opportunities to foreign countries;
A while back our government pledged 2000 nurse positions to the government of Philippines, positions for which our unemployed boys and girls could have been selected and re-educated for, a few years back, had the government been employing the right people who are forward thinkers and .

Favouritism (I refrain from using the ‘S’ word)
The government continues to import foreign workers for positions within the armed forces, police force and riot police. Just visit one of the police stations and you will know exactly what I mean.
This must stop. To go forward, this form of favouritism must stop. Give the Bahrainis the opportunity to prove themselves.

On the job training;
The Private sector recruits university students during their summer holidays for the three month duration, so why not take advantage of such a scheme to reeducate and train the unemployed into learning new skills. This could be in parallel with the salary that will be paid to them, it will relieve the burden on the company by them not having to pay a lot for the trainees, thereby encouraging them to do their part in ensuring that the unemployed get the necessary assistance and push to gain a tool, and be more prepared for the current job market.

Foot note:
I read recently on the Blog father’s site that there have been some educational reform initiatives that will be implemented in the near future, here’s to hoping.