Vocational education and general attitude of Pakistan
If a young man wants to become an electrician, become a car mechanic, become a plumber, or attend any other such field in his country, he will have to learn this from a traditional teacher sitting in the market. However, in all such fields, mostly young people who either fail in matriculation or run away from seventh-eighth grade demand that they be taught a job. Therefore, these youths are left in the traditional teacher’s shop, deemed ineligible and runaway in the field of education.
The shop is cleaned for the first four to six months, then the next six months is assigned to grab the tools, and gradually the process of notifying them is started. If the fortune of the young man is good and the teacher is good-hearted, the young man becomes a craftsman in three to four years.
After becoming a craftsman, the young man opens his shop and finds a suitable disciple for cleaning the shop and then teaches him to do the same work as he has learned himself.We can call this system of vocational education non-formal training. But apart from non-formal training in our country, there is a system of vocational training that we can call formal vocational training.
If we talk about Punjab province, there are several vocational and technical colleges where students are enrolled to teach electrical, AC, refrigerator and so on. Similarly, girls are also given beautician and similar courses. Government of Punjab has also set up a Technical and Vocational Education Authority to look into the issues of vocational institutions to enable the vocational education system.
Students are regularly enrolled in these colleges, where they are taught vocational training as well as related art theory. Upon completion of the course, students are tested, upon which they are issued a diploma. In terms of skills, these courses can range from 6 months to two years. The previous government has paid special attention to this system of vocational training. Agricultural University Faisalabad is also offering students Veterinary Assistant, Feed Technology and many other similar courses.
But the question arises how effective is the vocational training formal system in our country?
To illustrate this, let me give you an example. When FM Radio was launched at Agricultural University Faisalabad in 2014, I was entrusted with the task of watching radio issues. Being a Public Sector Radio, we had to record our program before we aired it. Obviously when the program was going to be recorded, then we also needed to edit it, so we needed a voice editor.
We requested the administration and we were approved to recruit a qualified voice editor. Now, qualifying papers in government papers could only be recognized by a person who had a certificate from a registered institution. In terms of recruiting the voice editor, our experience has been very interesting. Because the candidate who had a diploma did not have voice editing, and the person who got the job did not have a diploma.
I’ve given you just one example. Most technical diploma holders do not have satisfactory skills for us. This is the case with diplomas, diplomas, and degree holders. There are hundreds of students coming out with computer science degrees, but there will be very few people who can create a website or do computer programming. They have a degree but do not have the required skills. In fact, it is a permanent tragedy of our country’s technical and vocational education.
Consumers face many problems due to lack of formal vocational training or ineffectiveness.
If you’ve called an electrician, he knows nothing more than to pair. If the plumber is called, this does not close the leakage. Plastering is invoked so it does not come to be plastered. The reason is that the technical labor available in the market has no professional training. Worked with a teacher for two to four months, got angry at something. When separated, he arrived in the next neighborhood and became a teacher.
Now if such a teacher has done sanitary work in your house then your building is only in Allah’s hands.
This was the situation of vocational training in our dear country. Come on! We now take a brief overview of vocational training in Australia, Germany and China.
Take the example of Australia first.
In Australia no one can work as a plumber, electrician or car mechanic, etc., unless he / she receives training and certification from a registered institution. That is why not only the craftsman working there is familiar with the advanced techniques of his field but he is also familiar with the theory of his work along with the practical. Obviously, when a person understands the theory of his work, he can better solve any problems that may arise.
So if you have to set up a barber shop, do tailoring work or become an automobile mechanic, etc., you will need to be admitted to some company. After obtaining training from the institute, a license is issued to the candidate, on the basis of which he can open his shop in the market. But being a vocational certified in Australia means that you can count on the skills of this person with your eyes closed and that your work will be extremely satisfying.
Even in Punjab, if a person wants to make a pesticide shop, he has to first enroll in a short term course offered by the Plant Protection Department. The candidate pays admission fees, takes regular classes, and upon completion of the course, the department issues a certificate to him and on the basis of this certificate he opens a pesticide shop in the market. As many as we have people sitting in pesticide shops, they all have a certificate, otherwise they will be prosecuted. The same is the case with us about building a medical store.
If the craftsman is accredited in Australia, then his wages are good.
My brother graduated with a degree in software engineering from Australia in the 90’s. For the past 20 years, he has been working as a software engineer in Australia. One time I asked them if you were satisfied with your profile. So they answered no.
I asked would you like to be if you had the chance again. So he replied that I would love to be a plumber there. Everyone sitting down to laugh at my answer was laughing.
Obviously we will look at the profession of plumber just as our society does. While being a plumber in Australia is a respected society and an important profession in terms of making money. The plumber gets in his car when he calls. He is wearing his uniform, comes equipped with all kinds of tools and lightens your pocket after work. In Australia it is generally said that there are tools that are cheap and labor costly.
There, people buy tools and prefer to work on their own. Because if you buy the equipment once, then in the future it will work for you. This is to say that vocational training in Australia is not only highly organized but also considered a respected profession in this field.
Now another example Is from Germany.
Germany has developed a comprehensive system of vocational education in the country, like general and professional education.
The bottom line is that at first it was difficult for me to accept that people were attracted to vocational education rather than general or professional education. Since general and professional education is considered more credible to us, I thought that everyone should at least have a Masters or get a professional degree. Since I was studying professionally, I used to think of others the same way. But over time, I came to the conclusion that Almighty God has put different trends in human beings. One man is inclined towards general education while the other is more interested in vocational side.
The problem in our country is that we have built a system for general education, but for vocational training we have not built a comprehensive system. In contrast to Pakistan, Germany also has a great system of vocational training. So suppose that if a student in Germany has done his middle or matriculation and now wants to learn a job, then he will apply for admission to the relevant college.
To understand this, suppose you have applied to a vocational college in Faisalabad to become a car mechanic. The college will send you to Suzuki Motor Workshop to learn work (internship) after you enroll. Where you will study 3 days a week while the other 3 days you will study math and science in addition to studying car engine theory in Vocational College. Suzuki Motor Workshop will also be obliged to pay you monthly salary. This is how your training and education will go along. After completing your two- or three-year training and vocational college education, you will be issued a certificate after passing the exam. And you can work or build your own workshop based on this certificate.
You may be wondering how the workshop will benefit them?
In Germany, the government has banned technical shopkeepers from training a certain number of young people a year. In violation, they face government action. Therefore, when and wherever the scope of the workshops is available to the Vocational College. And the college sends youth to workshops to learn work.
The great beauty of the vocational training system in Germany is that after getting vocational training you can go back to general or professional education if you wish. For example, if you have taken two years of vocational training after matriculation, the college certificate will be considered equivalent to FA, SSC. And based on this certificate, you are also eligible to enroll in an engineering degree. That is, if a student pursues vocational training, the path to becoming an engineer is not closed. Similarly, if he wants to go to general education, that way is also open for him.
But for us vocational trainers, the paths to higher education are either very closed or very limited. My brother works as an engineer in Germany, he works in the field of research and development of Siemens, a CT scan machine manufacturer. He observes that in Germany, those who become engineers by way of vocational training are more successful than those who go from general education to engineering degree. He says that the ability of people to become engineers from a vocational training channel is better understood than others, especially in solving and creating technical problems.
This means that Germany’s vocational training system not only provides better technical training to students but also keeps all educational doors open to further them.
The third and final example is China.
A US multinational company has shifted many of its manufacturing industries to China. I was watching a television interview with the company’s chief executive. The host asked that you shift most of your industry to China, what is the reason? Is labor cheap there?
The chief executive replied that if we applied for a technical job in the United States, we would not receive more than 100 applications. But if we apply for the same job in China, then at least a thousand people apply and then out of these 1,000 applications we choose the people with the best potential. Talented people mean good work and good work means company success.
The chief executive believed that China’s development was primarily based on vocational education there. We all see that China is technically lagging behind the world.
By the way, people with vocational training have a much better attitude towards work. They do not consider themselves reluctant to carry out any work. Whereas a masters or M.Phil considers his or her job in addition to a semi-specific job.
If we talk about agricultural education, Agriculture is taught at Agricultural University Faisalabad. The main purpose of this education is to enable graduates to adopt practical agriculture in addition to extracurricular and research services, so that the agriculture of the patriarchs can be read and written by professional people.
We did a survey of three agricultural universities in Punjab two years ago, in which MSc Agriculture students were asked if they would pursue farming as a professional after obtaining a degree. More than 80% of students responded that they would not do farming at all.
Most of the students said that if we started farming in our village then the villagers would not let us live. Many students thought that their parents would not let them do the work. Parents will say that if you were to do farming, then what was the need to spend four to six years at an agricultural university, because agriculture could be an illiterate man?
However, we observe that this kind of thinking is rarely found in students and parents seeking vocational or technical education. And their attitude towards work and work is more positive.
I think the German vocational training model is imitative. There is no shortage of experienced people in Pakistan. There are people who travel around the country, who have a keen eye on technical and vocational education. There is a need to establish a vocational training system in Pakistan that is in keeping with the German system and in harmony with the Pakistani mood.