The reality is when you complete college education, you are not guaranteed of landing a job. If all colleges are asked to track what happens to students who are finishing college some could be shocked to find that more than 90% of their former students are unemployed! What is worrisome is that most colleges are still using the same syllabus and same teaching methods that are producing little results.
Our colleges need to shape up and develop curricular that is relevant to the needs of a modern world. When developing curricular they need to consult relevant stakeholders such as :
3.The NGO sector
4.Informal business associations
5. Religious bodies
6. Members of the public
7. Diaspora groups
Consultations will help them develop relevant material that will produce graduates who have options upon completion of studies. They do not necessarily have to sit at home when they find no jobs upon graduation. From our forum we have examples of college graduates who have veered from careers they studied at college. Examples include:
- An accounting graduate from NUST who is writing O level and A level exams study guides in Glen Norah.
- A mechanical engineering graduate from NUST who opened a shop that sells steel products in Workington.
- An accounting graduate from UZ who opened a maputi shop in Randburg, South Africa.
- An engineering graduate from UZ who is involved in carpet making.
- A masters degree graduate from UZ who is involved in writing study guides for primary school pupils.
- A law graduate from UZ who is involved in writing business proposals.
A look at the above graduates shows that they have veered off from what they studied at college, so college education was not adequate and will remain inadequate as long as colleges do not review how they are operating and bringing relevant qualifications that are required by society.
Extra skills for graduates
Lets take an example of an accounting graduate from local colleges. The student may need the following skills for empowerment.
- How to run own small accounting firm
- Digital marketing skills and unlocking business opportunities
- How to write business plans for sale
- How to use research skills and earn money
- How to write books | blogs | newspaper columns
- How to use digital platforms such as crowdfunding to mobilise resources
- How to take advantage of emerging online opportunities
- Provision of marketing services/human resources/business management to the SME sector
- Graphic designing and other emerging opportunities
- How to identify opportunities and take advantage of them
- How to register companies
All of the above skills will ensure that students have options when they complete college. If an accounting student fails to land an accounting job then there are options in terms of forming own businesses. Graduates can leverage on their financial skills and can even start businesses during their college days rather than finishing college with high hopes of getting jobs-finding no jobs and then start thinking of what else to do.
Lack of consultations of local colleges and relevant stakeholders such NGOs means that most accountants interested in joining the NGO sector do not have financial skills such as donor rules and regulations, donor accounting, grants management, resource mobilisation and risk management in the donor context. With these skills not covered by local colleges, an NGO recruiting an accounting graduate has to start from scratch teaching students how to do donor fund financial management.
A law student from our forums says law lecturers at UZ could do better in teaching students how to form and run own law firms, how to write blogs, taking advantage of online opportunities and disruptive technology initiatives.
Lessons from Prince Edward School
Covered below is a post from Mono Mukundu an ex black spirit band member who is a prolific writer who has published a very useful book that helps artists and entrepreneurs.
SCHOOLS SHOULD NURTURE CHILDREN’S GIFTS
If you at the exclusive brass section video that I posted on Saturday morning & these pictures, you will notice that 99% of the boys in the band are former Prince Edward (P. E ) students and they are already making a living through music, some are music teachers, my son is one of the busiest session guitarists right now and is getting paid good money. Mr Mapiye from P.E always boasts”Hapana mwana wedu anogara pamba apedza chikoro“& that is very true, by the time the boy reaches form 3 he would be a pro already, even able to pay his own fees.
The young lady playing sax’s father is a member of the P.E Old Boys Association,s o he is very active at P.E shows so he always took his daughter with him to play with the boys all the time so she benefited from P. E too.
That alone tells you something about P.E,its a school that finds where the child is talented,then nurture that talent, whether its sports, music or academia.
The school I went to
1:They believed education ‘yema’ books was the ultimate purpose of going to school, anything else was kutamba.
2:If you are not good at academics then the one and only solution was corporal punishment,sometimes the teachers would beat you up for very silly reasons, they kept sticks, sjambocks & ropes in the cupboards. That was the nature yema colonial group B schools, you were supposed kugona Maths so that wozoshandira vachena, vana vevachena were treated like kings isu tichifa nekurohwa.
Let me talk about corporal punishment, iwe… schools were prisons,proper torture camps, we were beaten up like hell,i was not good in Maths so ndakarohwa hama, everytime i fell sick i would rejoice internally knowing I was gonna miss school and our parents would give the teachers permission to beat us, hanzi “rovai sterek”& takarohwa,male teachers are the one who were notorious panyaya iyoyo, so basically i hated male teachers.
As a result
1:I hated school with a passion,
2:When i got to form 1/2 i couldnt stand the beatings no more & started resisting, so i was a constant visitor at the headmaster’s office, for some funny reason kwa headmaster i sort of won all my cases,of course zvanga zvasangana ne anger ye my parents’s divorce and I was now a reggae fanatic, listening to all the “stand up for your rights”music.
But, my son when he was at P.E he couldnt miss school,like father like son he is not good in Maths, but still he loved school,even when he was sick & bedridden if you told him you cant go to school,he would say”Im ok now”so that he could go to school, because his talent,zvaanogona zvacho was being nurtured so he did not feel like a dofo, manje isu tainzi ukatadza Maths uri dofo, so you would end up feeling im a dofo on anything even stuff that you are good at.
I also believe too much corporal punishment & kutukwa makes a kid dumb & less confident,isa mwana we P. E apa woisa vakadzidza kwatakadzidza isusu, vekunana P. E somehow have this American style of confidence & respect wrapped on one,because they were taught kuti since you are good at what you do uri shasha.
So parents, nurture your kids’talent and support them, attend their events too, ukaona ma group A schools aine ma events panenge pakazara mota, kwedu kwaisauya kana 1 parent.
Mono Mukundu can be contacted on 0772 303 736
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