Opinion

Editorial: Talk About What Is Needed In The Job Market

Are the tertiary institutions consulting employers and various Ministries about the skill sets in need? If there are consultations happening, it is not to the level that it should. Very
31 Jan 2019 10:00
Editorial: Talk About What Is Needed In The Job Market
Corpus Christi teachers college during their graduation.

Are the tertiary institutions consulting employers and various Ministries about the skill sets in need?

If there are consultations happening, it is not to the level that it should. Very soon Fiji will face a shortage of Primary School teachers, if the Ministry is not facing it already.

We have tertiary institutions churning out teachers but not for primary schools.

We have teachers coming out specializing in some subjects such as Accounting, Economics, and Hindi for secondary schools and this leads to flooding of the market in some streams while there is a complete shortage in other streams such as physics.

How should this be addressed?

It was only last year that the Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts were consulted by the heads of tertiary institutions.

All these years in the past, this was a grey area and people were basically flying blind.

This Ministry is the largest employer of teachers and for tertiary institutions not to recognize that is a serious flaw.

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum had called for this consultation to take place.

Now, Education is pushing to meet with heads of institutions for consultations.

This is a no brainer, really.

This cuts across all sectors. We have had an acute lack of land surveyors and civil engineers in Fiji.

Now with the Tertiary Education Loans Scheme people can afford to study in these fields but is there enough awareness about it?

We have had orientation weeks happening in recent days. This is where the tertiary institutions need to market such courses.

When Government introduced the National Toppers Scheme, their only condition was that priority be given to areas where there is a shortage.

Of course the usual suspects kicked up a fuss about it saying that this was not giving the students the opportunity to pursue what they want. Wrong.

Government’s priority is to ensure we have enough doctors, lab technicians, radiology technicians and engineers.

If they are funding the toppers, they should be able to make the most of it as well.

This brings us back to the need to identify the demand and work towards fulfilling it. Maybe this should be the focus of faith-based organisations that also run teacher training centres.

 

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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