Varsity curricula found wanting for job market

02Jul 2016
Abela Msikula
The Guardian
Varsity curricula found wanting for job market

DEVELOPMENT partners and other stakeholders have called for a review higher learning institutions’ curricula in order to develop professionals who match the requirements of the job market.

ESRF Executive Director, Dr. Tausi Kida

They were contributing during a professional training workshop organized by the French Embassy and the Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF) recently in Dar es Salaam.

The workshop aimed at contributing to the better understanding of issues facing professional training and sharing views and innovative practices in order to identify the best way forward in adapting the skills required for jobs on short- and medium-terms.

The participants commented that lack of a link not only triggered unemployment but also stagnated national development because both public and private sectors lacked skilled personnel to effectively carry out various development projects.

As a way forward, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation’s Director for Multilateral Cooperation Celestine Mushy urged Tanzania to borrow ideas from Western countries where knowledge imparting started at a tender age.

“This is done by observing the child’s area of interest and keeping promoting that talent. This way youth are nurtured by matching their careers for a better chance of getting employment after their studies,” he said.

He said unemployment thus is less acute as youths are equipped with the skills required for jobs.

He also commented on one medium of communication from kindergarten to university, unlike currently where English language in Tanzania is encouraged after the child gets in secondary school.

The government was also advised to come up with a policy which directs all kindergarten schools to be supervised by professors; contrary to nowadays where the supervisors have not even attained Advanced level education.

He said this was important because professors had the ability to study and recognize a child’s mindset and therefore tune it accordingly.

Dangote Industries Limited Project facilitator Esther Kroll said there was acute shortage of skilled manpower in the private sector, which forced the foreign investors to come into the country with their personnel.

She insisted that it was because most Tanzanian students underwent studies which weren’t their dream but did so simply to acquire a job.

She went on saying that practical learning is the best way to shape a graduate in proper manners but they (practices) are partially applied in most higher learning institutions.

The participants also commented that there are informal professionals in various fields who can immediately fill gaps; advising the government to introduce at-least a-six-month training sessions just for skills sharpening to such people.

ESRF Executive Director, Dr. Tausi Kida said that participants’ views in the workshop were especially important in the light of the country’s new industrialization drive.

“One of the key challenges facing industrialization in Tanzania is obtaining labour with the required skills. The private sector in Tanzania sees many opportunities yet many constraints. The shortage of skilled labour at all levels is one of the most serious of those challenges,” she said.

Head of the French Embassy’s Economic Department Beatrice Alperte, commented that human capacity building is a challenge for every country. It is even critical for developing economies like Tanzania, which have to face major economic and social environment evolutions.

As the country gears to an industrialized economy, skills need to be adapted for the youth to meet growing needs, but for the time being, solutions are needed to fill the lack of capacities of the active population.

“In addition to political stability, a country’s human capacity is linked to its health and education sectors. Thus, increasing the employment rate for a new generation given that 800 000 young people enter the job market each year in Tanzania, requires comprehensive policies implemented 15 to 25 years earlier,” she said.

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