Youth & Competence

Ethiopia is seeing a soaring rise in the number of its educated youth that it had not witnessed 20 years ago. Without having to look into the actual numbers, though important to do so and by solely relying on the experiences of our grandparents, we can easily understand that there has been an interesting shift within our social construct.

We are seeing more women going beyond secondary school and into universities, as well as more and more though not enough women going into scientific fields. We have now gotten to an era with a generation that is eager in braving new challenges, with the ambition of bettering not only their lives and that of their families but also their country. I hear a lot of our elders praising the efforts of the youth and expressing how good the youth is doing in various areas. Seeing the eagerness in the youth is especially refreshing when it is parallel to a growing country that flatters the blossoming youth. Creativity has gotten to a whole new level and it promises to head towards greatness in every possible sector we can think of.

It is also very alarming to see that the majority of the graduating youth has a gap in comparison to a lot of their counterparts in other countries, including countries under development or rather underdeveloped. Though language is an additional skill and one’s knowledge cannot solely be based on the ability to master a language or languages as long as the desired message is properly transmitted, it is an important tool in order to convey the proper message. While we are on the language wagon let us assess the abilities of most of our newly graduated workforce who have a hard time communicating orally let alone being expected to write formal letters and emails.

Without wanting to get into the ‘Privileged vs Underprivileged’ debate, I would like to point out the responsibility we all have in ensuring a better workforce and a youth capable of leading a nation. It is also understandable that, given our overwhelming numbers, it could be close to impossible to give one on one attention to the students either before or at the university level. It is also arguable that once at the university level it is almost a lost case to want to fix an individual’s base if it is semi-inexistent. The reason why I am pointing towards this is because a lot of the current students at various private universities are complaining about the fact that they feel as though they are throwing money out the window.

I must admit, this is not the case for all of the universities around town and one teacher’s laziness does not reflect on the laziness of all teachers but the fact still remains alarming. Teachers not being able to attend more than 20pc of their classes during a whole semester should make us rub our eyes and point our ears. It has been a known fact that a lot of the teachers have multiple jobs, which is also a trend among many professionals in town, with multiple entities.

Though we can ask the responsible bodies as well as university directors and boards to look into the quality of the education that is being offered, we can also require the same of the students.

Are university students as responsible as the entities for the education they get?

The trend students tend to adopt has been to study the handouts given by teachers and not more or outside the outlines provided to them; this obviously does not give anyone a 360 outlook on any given matter. Moreover, it is my understanding that a university student is supposed to be independent and autonomous because it is preparation to join the workforce.

By that logic, are students allowed to solely complain about the absenteeism of their teachers without making the effort to research for the information based on the skeleton given to them during the first class which is also known as the outline?

Though it never is 100pc the fault of one specific individual or group, it is wholly the responsibility of everyone.

How about more business entities started opening up their doors to interns in order to ensure that they get an idea of the field they are trying to work in? How about these businesses help shape the future employees of our economy instead of complaining of their incapacities after interviews? How about students actively sought information outside of the teacher’s mouth and handouts?

By Christine Yohannes
Christine Yohannes writes about social change, performs at public events and conducts poetry workshops in schools. She has established a monthly event entitled

Published on May 12,2017 [ Vol 17 ,No 889]



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