Monday, October 17, 2011

Education and Job - Serious Disconnect

picture source
My nephew did telecommunication engineering from FAST. While hunting for the job he informed me that a job in telecom market is out of question; neither any job is available nor anybody would hire a FAST graduate even if it available; so he should better be looking his future in some software house. Being among the senior most community of telecom engineers in Pakistan (with single digit PEC registration number), it felt very wierd. FAST has enjoyed the reputation to produce excellent computer and software engineers, but so pathatic state of telecom engineers?
Okay, I got him the entry pass into one of the reputable telecom company using or misusing my contacts; but clearly told him that it is his own race where he has to prove that my reference was worth it. After couple of months, he told me a totally different story:
"There are many posts vacant, but they are not finding a suitable person to enroll. The applicants only have the degree but no 'aptitude' or 'commitment' to work. The company has asked me to find at least two guys like myself."
Sounds like a real problem, isn't a Telecom Engineer not qualified enough to be given even entry level jobs in the field?
Once I generalized this observation, I was, well really, horrified.
In all electronic and mobile maintenance workshops, how many are electrical diploma holders?
How many site supervisers for road and bridge construction are qualified associate diploma in civil Engineering?
Haw many accountant and 'Munshees' in medium scale business and industry are C/D, I or B.comm?
How many BA in physical education, Punjabi literature are doing the job they had been studying?
Do any of the licensed driver on road have ever attended a driving school, even for one week?
There are two problems:

  1. A big disconnect between education we are imparting and the job and profession in the offering.
  2. The education in a particular profession is not good enough to do even entry level job in the same very field.

Well we all know it more or less; someone or somebody has to do this or that or push a button to put the things right and that somebody is not me.
But there is one more aspect that compelled me to write all this:
If a person educated, qualified and trained for a job is not doing that very job and busy in something he is not educated, qualified or trained; he is causing a double loss: one to the job he is doing, and second to the job he was trained but not doing.
Part of the fault may be attributed to 'aptitude', as brilliant students are to become a doctor or engineer due to social pressure, irrespective of their aptitude. But major reason and contributory factor in my opinion is that the we have compromised on lower (or may be lowest) skill level during our education and training. An MA English is unable to write an application for job, as our acceptable standard was to reproduce 'parrot' (رٹے رٹاے) paragraphs. Instead of raising the education quality to raise the level of students we are continuously lowering our acceptance levels. We have bonded ourselves in curricula of textbooks where even a word out of text book is 'out of course' and should neither be taught nor tested.

Solution:

  • Getting happy that our kids are getting more than 90% [as a parent] we should be more realistic to ask schools that how 50% of the children in same class be exceptionally higher than average.
  • We should pay more to teachers, specially elementary schools teachers (I saw in math book of my 4th grade daughter the concept of cellular automata; actually the word automata was used there, but I can bet anything on it that not a single teacher in the entire school would have any idea what this crap is).
  • As a parent, we must listen and try to assess real aptitude of kids.
  • Schools must hire professionals to conduct regular aptitude tests so that kids be guided towards the fields of their interests.
  • Lastly people like me, who cry a lot about faults in system, must spend time in schools. Try to offer small lectures sharing personal experiences and asking them to THINK.




Sunday, October 9, 2011

Jhoonga - Part 2

In continuation to my previous post on the subject:
http://pakistancomeback.blogspot.com/2011/10/jhoonga.html

I have started to conclude that all our problems are linked with this jhoonga culture. In my last post I have already mention that jhoonga is never free, and jhoonga taker is paying much higher price in some other currency. It is also the strength (زور بازو ) of jhoonga taker that how much he grabs the jhoonga. In this process, many a times he takes major share of others as well 'depriving' them of their 'rightful' jhoonga. I would elaborate with some examples.
- An office holder takes charge of all vehicles of the office and distribute as one for his primary use, second as alternate vehicle, third for kids school pick and drop, fourth for begam sahiba and fifth and last for the one who delivers daily milk and vegetables to his house. He takes all the allotted fuel as well, forcing others to use their own vehicles for official job or donot do the job (no body would ever ask any way).
- A street vendor gives free fruit to police wala to let him stand at most inappropriate (best place from his business point of view), and gets the benefit of increased sale due to prime location. Cost of this free jhoongs is borne by pedestrians.
- AC of sahib's office is switched on all the time and that too at lowest temperature, because that sahib will not pay the bill; wapda would not be pushed to bill him as meter is faulty for last 3 years, and payment is done by others who are burdened with additional bills due to inflated 'line losses'.
- Bada sahib (بڑا صاحب ) can produce medical bill of Queen Victoria Hospital UK for his flu, that includes travel and hotel for his entire family. He snatches 90% of medical budget of his entire ministry in this jhoonga.


What is the solution????
If all jhoongas are monetized; from cost of shopping bag* and free 'dhania / mirch' to transport and medical expenditures; that monetized amount is added to the salary. Isn't it workable? why dont we ask political parties to include anti jhoonga point in their manifesto?


*(one mostly pays for the shopping bag in USA)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pakistan - Who are the Stakeholders?



Today I noticed a facebook comment and was greatly disturbed. Everybody has its own opinion and they are free to express it (like I am doing right now) and I would try to find an answer to a question which is 'lurking' in my mind. I am afraid to ask, yet want to:
Who all are stakeholders in Pakistan? Whose lives and deaths are associated with Pakistan. Who do not have any run-away plan in case (نعوذ باللہ)  some thing bad happens to my Pakistan?

Let's start probing one by one:
The person in question has very clear and announced associations. Though he is speaking for himself but some, though very weak, thoughts of Pakhtoon alliance out of Pakistan do exist.
Coming to religious hardliners, two extremist groups are sponsored by Saudia and Iran, and off-course they are pro-Saudi and pro-Iran. They have very strong [but politically and racially wrong] urge to join their sponsors leaving aside Pakistan.
Talking of corrupt politicians, bureaucrats and even military is useless as they ensure a safe-house in UK or UAE before they step out from the office.
Separatists in Balochistan always talk of independent Balochistan; even so called moderate and educated people of that area are very clear in their preference; if time comes.
Echoes of Jinnahpur are still heard and it is believed to exist in heart of the hearts as fallback option.
Kashimirs; after so many battles are not ready to declare themselves Pakistani; rather happy in proclaiming their independent status, which they would like to maintain in any future solution of Kashmir.
The Jagirdars جاگیردار , Waderas وڈیرہ  and Mazara مزارع/ Hari ہاری of Punjab and Sind would hardly be affected in the state of Pakistan. The wadera was wadera in British time, he is wadera now and would remain wadera whoever rules the country and whatever the geographical borders are. Similarly, mazara would remain mazara in all situations.
Businessman and investors would be extremely happy if there is rule of law and justice, may it be through US owned Pakistan or broken Pakistan. Their business would harldy be affected. Their only worry would be transition time, which they would like to keep as less as possible.
Talking of person working on daily wages and small vendors, no one expects any change in their life.
Are we finish with all? not yet.
Who are the ones benefiting from Pakistan? in present time, earlier and in foreseeable future?
Sorry to say, but corrupt and incompetent ones who manage to find their way in jobs and government. Should Jinnah's Pakistan have any place for such people?
And lastly those moderate minded people who just want their identity as Pakistani and want to raise the Pakistani flag much higher than their linguistic, racist, religious or regional flags.
Who is in majority? an interesting question. I have a very strong believe supported by my observation that extreme hardliners are very few. Tacking them all irrespective of their pole would hardly come to 10%. They are exploiting the mob mentality of Pakistanis who just follow the wind.
I would agitate your thought believing you to be among 90% that you would not let others hijack your mind,
Think for yourself and think for Pakistan.


Isn't time to wakeup?

Referring to a recent agreement between India and Afghanistan (http://www.mea.gov.in/mystart.php?id=530518343), I would request all Pakistanis to go through it and awaken about yet another fiasco. 

I' ll  refer some of the excerpts below. My fellow Pakistanis, please wakeup and react jointly as Pakistani shedding away and regional, linguistic or religious differences. It is already too late, the next generations would never forgive us for criminal negligence.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Text of Agreement on Strategic Partnership between the Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

October 04, 2011

RECOGNISING the time-tested and friendly relationship between the two countries, underpinned by historical and cultural ties;

EMPHASISING the fundamental and lasting importance of the Treaty of Friendship between the Government of India and the Royal Government of Afghanistan of 4 January 1950, and subsequent Agreements and Joint Statements;

APPRECIATING the significant expansion of bilateral ties between the two countries and, in this context, the sincere and generous assistance that the Republic of India has provided to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan over the past ten years;

SEEKING to impart a long term commitment to their multifaceted bilateral relations and to actively develop them in political, development, economic, trade, scientific, technological, cultural and other fields in the years ahead;
 
POLITICAL & SECURITY COOPERATION

1. The Sides agree to engage in close political cooperation and, in this respect, establish a mechanism for regular bilateral political and Foreign Office Consultations. Political consultations will be led by Foreign Ministries of both countries and include summit level consultations convened at least once a year.

2. The Sides agree to consult and cooperate at the United Nations and other international, regional and multilateral fora. Such cooperation is to be aimed at influencing decision-making in these fora in the interest of both countries. Cooperation at the UN and multilateral fora would include:

(a) Joint initiatives on key regional and international issues;
(b) Support for the reform and expansion of the United Nations Security Council, including a permanent seat for India in the Council.

5. India agrees to assist, as mutually determined, in the training, equipping and capacity building programmes for Afghan National Security Forces.
TRADE & ECONOMIC COOPERATION

3. The Sides agree to take effective measures to create a favourable environment to promote trade and investment. The measures shall include, among others:

(a) Enhancing investment protection;
(b) Simplifying customs and other procedures and promoting the removal of non-tariff barriers, and gradually lowering tariff barriers;
(c) Working towards the creation of air-cargo facilities for promotion of commercial exchanges;
(d) Cooperating in the areas of banking and finance, and improving credit and insurance facilities and;
(e) Enhancing cooperation and coordination at international trade, economic and financial bodies.

CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT AND EDUCATION

3. As part of its highly successful annual scholarship programme, and the broader strategy of support to higher education for Afghanistan, India will continue to expand education and training opportunities in India through the ICCR and ITEC scholarships, and multilateral-funded programmes.

(a) Responding to the requirements of Afghanistan, India will explore avenues to expand scholarships in medical, engineering and management institutes of India; and
(b) The Sides will also encourage and facilitate annual student exchange programmes at the school and university levels.

CONCLUSION


The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Republic of India go forward in this partnership, re-asserting the fundamental and lasting spirit of the Treaty of Friendship between the Government of India and the Royal Government of Afghanistan of 04 January 1950, which states: "There shall be everlasting peace and friendship between the two Governments who will further strive to maintain and strengthen the cordial relations existing between the people of their respective countries."

Signed on the 4th October 2011 at New Delhi in four originals, each in Hindi, Pashto, Dari and English languages. However, in case of any discrepancy in the text or difference in interpretation, the English text shall prevail.

(Manmohan Singh)
Prime Minister
of the Republic of India
(Hamid Karzai)
President
of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Jhoonga.. جھونگا

Today I was watching Hasb-e-Haal, and during the discussion 'Azeezi' used the word 'jhoonga'. As most of the audiences had no idea about this words so he explained with his childhood experience that after purchasing something from the shop he used to spread his hand and used to ask the shopkeeper 'jhoonga?'.
It reminded me of my childhood too, and at the same time told me that I am also as old as to be included in 'old' generation.
Jhoonga جھنگا ، جھونگا یا چوہنگا  is a widely used word like
 "یہ حکومت ہمیں جھونگے میں نہیں ملی، " (jhoonga in the meaning of cheap or easy) .x. "سیلاب متاثرین کی امداد جھونگا ہی ثابت هوئی" (jhoonga in the meaning of less or meagre) . The word triggered a thought in my mind; about our national mindset; giving some explanation to unexplained type of behaviour that we as a Nation and as an individual are exhibiting in our personal as well as professional life. Let me explain what I want to say:
The young boy is representative of the family whom his house-folks trust and give him money to buy the household stuff, which he would be using himself too.
The shopkeeper knows that if he make this boy happy, he would always come to his shop, so he gives 'jhoonga' happily, even [apparently] at some cost.
The [stupid or may be oversmart] boy would be ready to buy at comparatively higher price just to get a better 'jhoonga'.
I remember the types of jhoongas:
- A piece of Batasha or Tangree (بتاشہ یا ٹانگری ) dont ask me to explain what it is, ask your father or mother.
- A small biscuit (which was priced one paisa at my time)
- Sweet aniseed, just a pinch-full.
- Cashback (one or two paisa).
above examples are good only for kids under 11-12, as one grows older the forms of jhoonga change as:
- offering a priority service, putting aside the current customer.
- satisfying the ego by saying 'malik sahib', 'mian sahib', 'khan sahib' etc.
- offering a seat to sit.
- offering free sample to taste (specially for fruits)
- offering a glass of water or [stretching all the limits] a chilling cocoa cola.
What the shopkeeper achieves:
- a permanent customer, who never complains.
- selling his product at high price.
- handing you over the rotten/expired stuff as you are too busy in tasting the free sample or sipping the cocoa cola.


Are we a Jhoonga hungry Nation?
- Our servant buys the things at much higher price (for his jhoonga)
- While making deals with contractors (in official capacity) we are more focussed towards jhoonga than the actual product.
- While voting we are doing the 'namak halali نمک حلالی' with the Baryani plate.
- While approving policies in assemblies, we are interested in jhoonga of minister-ship, plots or contracts.
- Even the peon demands jhoonga of tea just to tell the boss that you are outside to see him.
There are thousands of examples. But is it what we made Pakistan for? who inculcated the habit of jhoonga in our blood? have we even tried to get rid off this habit? or even identified it as a social disease?


Jhoonga is always a jhoonga; always too less that it can never replace the main potion; one can never bank on it. Moreso jhoonga makes you to beg for it. 
Ask for yourself that is there any jhoonga worth the humilition of begging? or worth loss to the main potion (job or inventory)?
Stop taking jhoonga in any form and stand up as a Proud Pakistani
کیونکہ یہ ملک ہمیں جھونگے میں نہیں ملا، اس کے لیے  ہمارے بزرگوں کا خوں بہا ہے' 


for part 2:
http://pakistancomeback.blogspot.com/2011/10/jhoonga-part-2.html