We are today talking about right attributes that our children need to have to enter the wider world of reality. What this means is how are we preparing our children for the future that they will face sooner or later. Yes, we are talking about education.
The problem, perhaps the biggest of all the problems we are confronted with today, is youth unemployment. Small as our country is, we are faced with such a problem! Somewhere our planning failed us. In other words, we failed to plan.
Thousands of our children are jobless today. More will come and add to the number tomorrow. We may look for solutions here and there, but are we looking at sustainable answers? Overseas employment has brought us more concerns than comfort. Our unemployment figures do not change with many a young Bhutanese leaving the country for employment. We cannot cheat ourselves like this. But that’s another matter altogether.
Why are our children becoming unemployed when the country is running short of human resource? This is the question that our planners and educators need to ask. We may try to revise our texts and lessons, but are we keeping pace with the change?
There is today a need to give classroom teaching some currency. Curriculum experts will promptly stand up to disagree with this idea. But, with textbook teaching, we run the risk of giving our children outmoded information. The real lesson that our children need today is to run apace with change. That’s preparing our children for their future.
But then, change in the way we prepare our children in schools and colleges alone will not solve all the problems. There are many contributing factors that need to change too. Why is our private sector not growing, which could create so many employment opportunities? Why is agriculture becoming so unpopular, especially among the young, when we are struggling with our national dream to achieve food self-sufficiency?
Change in different sectors cannot be looked at and worked out independently. There is today a need to look at development holistically, not just in words. When all these things are taken care of and move along together, only then will there be real development. Our youth employment problem then would not be as big as it is today. That’s giving our children the right attributes; that’s preparing our children for the future.