Are schools and universities tailoring skills to the job market?
Alaudah: This is an issue around the world. A lot of people come out of school lacking the skill sets for the corporate world, which is why training is so important. Last year, the Ministry of Education started the Your Job, Your Scholarship programme which signs partnerships with various government agencies to send qualified students on foreign scholarships in accordance with their actual needs for specialised manpower. I hope this will help educational institutions adapt their programmes to the needs of the corporate world.
Alsuhaimi: In the past, educational policies have not always been effective, with conflicting agendas between the different government and semi-government agencies around finalising curricula. Teachers are also underpaid, overworked, unappreciated, and ill-selected. When you weave these factors together, the schools system is bound to fail because there is no motivation for teachers to excel. It’s considered only a ‘job’ without merit or future. When one compares this situation with top global educational systems such as South Korea or Singapore, it is evident where the problem lies: strategy implementation and teachers.
The young Royals here are trying hard to fix these issues and are adamant that the educational system requires improvement. We could very well see positive results in 5-10 years from now if an effective solution, strategy and implementation are adopted seriously.