Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Change we need

Aiman, a 30 year old civil servant, obtained his tertiary education through a government scholarship. After finishing his bachelors degree, he was offered a highly paid job in Australia. However, Aiman chose to return back to Maldives, as he had an obligation to serve the government for almost 7 years. In order to serve this ‘bond’, he started work in the government, in a low paid job, not being able to make use of or apply the skills and knowledge obtained in his bachelors degree. Almost six and a half years have passed since then. Aiman is afraid to accept any Masters degree scholarship from the government, as it would add to the existing ‘bond’.

Haneef, a doctor by profession, also with a similar story; obtained a scholarship from the government, had to return back home soon after graduation, to serve the country. In return, the government provides a relatively low salary. Haneef says the work is not challenging enough, and not adding much value to his professional career. Many of his friends have chosen to find PG opportunity is USA, and settled down there with an attractive income package.

Musaid, 25 years old, a teacher, working in one of the atolls, as he has a ‘bond’ too. Day in and day out, goes into a classroom of 20 students, supervises sports activities, and ‘marks’ exercise books every night. He wants to achieve more, contribute more to his country.

The place I work, there are almost 50 graduates, or even more. Most of the government ministries and departments also have many graduates. Most of us are engulfed in the existing corporate culture, and end up trapped in a system that doesn’t promote our own personal or professional development.

The reason for telling all these stories is not to prove that they all are being stupid, or that the government is being stupid, or that the services of them are not valuable. We need services of people like Aiman, Haneef and Musaid. However, we need in Maldives a change in the way do things in government ministries, organizations, or departments. We need to revisit the corporate cultures, work ethics and human resource management. I say, this has to come from somewhere. And one way we can bring this change is through transfer of management know-how or transfer to know how, work ethics, and many more. We need to provide our graduates with first hand experience, by providing them the opportunity to work in another country for at least 2 years before they return back home.

If the scholarship assistance MOUs with the foreign countries can have such a condition, whereby Aiman, Haneef, Musaid and many others can obtain work experience, and learn how things are done in other countries, they could add more value to their work, and contribute to the development of the corporate culture of Maldivian organizations.

1 comment:

  1. the government can revise the bond policy, by making it more flexible. Now there are enough educated people even in the government. So, if the government can relax the rules, graduates can choose to work in other countries for a while. And when they come back, they would have the international working experience.