For years I have seen, tertiary education placed on the back burner to compensate for low literacy rates in high schools and primary schools. I have nothing against primary and secondary education, just to clear the air, but someone has to say something and say it soon.
Since the start of the 2000s there has been a plethora of colleges and universities popping up all over Jamaica. To walk the streets of Kingston will make my point as obvious as day. For each of these colleges there are hundreds of graduates being produce, almost like a manufacturing plant.Every one who can afford it, or can get a loan to foster it, is trying to get an education and in fact a tertiary level of competency. Should their crave and commitment to higher eduction be a prison or an albatross around their necks. My mother dropped out of high school at the eight grade level, had 8 children but coached and worked her way to the point where she could enter a college and obtain a degree. She is now a trained teacher, that’s something to commend and be proud of, but, our society causes us to feel as if our achievements aren’t worth anything.
In the past there was not much care for tertiary level education as mostly everyone, I guess was confident in the secondary level education they had. As long as you had 3 or more subjects inclusive of Maths and or English then you were ok but there was a drawback with that as it was never easy for persons to matriculate into higher positions as they weren’t qualified. Now things have changed, and there are now so many qualified but still unable to attain jobs in the areas of qualification. Those who were in the positions are still there, though most of the work force is underqualified no one has/ will make way for the trained. Why? One might ask . The reason is, with an underqualified work force you can underpay personnel while still over working them. It’s a cruel position very plantocratic but no one except for the disenfranchised will chose to admit the fact. As time changes things remain the same.
It is believed by many that, these people now have a tertiary education and unlike the illiterate, undereducated and unemployable they are able to think. This is true and a point taken. It is believed that since this is so true they should be the ones to initiate and establish our industries, to this again I say, and so will many others, this is true. But, in light of these truths comes the reality most of these trained personnel are inexperienced and unable to get the experience needed to follow through with that thought. For most Tertiary educated, being that most of this grouping are youths without any collateral to their names, it is very hard to get a loan to start-up a business and even if they are able to acquire these loans they are unable to pay them back . That point highlights a point close to heart which is the Student Loan Bureau but not enough space to elaborate.
To conclude, where do we go from this crossroads. The government must continue on its/ their path to developing the country’s education and the upgrading of the institutions created to allow the unemployable, uneducated and disenfranchised citizens of this country a productive place in society. With this the government as well as the private sector needs to realize the reservoir of talents, skills, culturally rich and academically advanced resource it has in those who have gone through the tertiary levels of education. For too long these gifted and academically cultured beings have been left to warm corner walls, living room sofas and fluff pillows. The need is obvious for policies to be established which speak tothe fostering of development within this portion of society. Not only should policies arise but there should be the instituting of such along with private sector initiatives to advance these persons experiences so they can matriculate. As wel,l our banks and loan agencies must realize the investments they will make when they contribute to the process of helping these minority group with the funding to start-up their business. Well all need to play our part in advancing the welfare of our brothers/sisters, community, nation and in turn the whole Human Race
Ainsworth Case Scheed International