Chal­lenges are the un­der­ly­ing pil­lar of Ed­u­ca­tion

Sunday Observer - - FEATURES -

un­paid al­lowances by the gov­ern­ment. Most higher ed­u­ca­tion learn­ers took to the streets in a bid to win gov­ern­ment’s at­ten­tion to lis­ten to their con­cerns. Over the past decade we’ve ob­served with con­cern as money re­lated prob­lems were be­ing echoed in many in­sti­tu­tions of higher learn­ing con­ti­nen­tally and glob­ally.

The ir­refutable fact is that ev­ery com­mer­cial or ed­u­ca­tional en­tity needs a pool of funds to func­tion and to pro­duce note­wor­thy out­puts. Learn­ers in ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions are al­ways faced with high univer­sity or col­lege tu­ition fees as well as the hefty cost of liv­ing since most of them live far from their res­i­dents of ori­gin.

Lack of mu­tual un­der­stand­ing

The lack of mu­tual un­der­stand­ing be­tween aca­demic staff and stu­dents has been a long stand­ing prob­lem that en­dures back into the early years of higher ed­u­ca­tion.

Year in and year out it’s al­ways the same kind of sce­nario; protest ac­tion ren­dered by stu­dents and univer­sity man­age­ment re­spond­ing by call­ing on law en­force­ment of­fi­cers to come to their aid in halt­ing the stu­dents from es­ca­lat­ing their cam­paign to a rowdy and vi­o­lent one.

Both par­ties tend to un­der­take ag­gres­sive mea­sures other than re­sort­ing to am­i­ca­ble ways of solv­ing the prob­lem at hand.

All higher ed­u­ca­tion stake­hold­ers should have a proper struc­tured con­flict man­age­ment chan­nel that can be used to en­gage both stu­dents and univer­sity man­age­ment on volatile mat­ters af­fect­ing both par­ties. Of­ten times the core is­sues are not dealt with head on rather too much time is wasted fo­cus­ing on the ri­ots and how to stop the stu­dents in ques­tion from par­tic­i­pat­ing in such cru­sades.

Over­all en­gage­ment of gov­ern­ment The rel­e­vant stake­hold­ers:

Min­istries of labour and ed­u­ca­tion as well as man­age­ment from the dif­fer­ent ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions should work in col­lab­o­ra­tion to help iron out prob­lems faced by learn­ers within the sphere of higher ed­u­ca­tion.

Gov­ern­ment has the re­spon­si­bil­ity of en­sur­ing that stu­dents’ progress very well and fairly well with their stud­ies by pro­vid­ing them with an open plat­form where their is­sues can be ad­dressed.

The ten­dency of as­sum­ing that stu­dents are ex­hibit­ing hos­til­ity ev­ery time they try to raise their griev­ances is an un­just ap­proach and it doesn’t ad­dress the root cause of the prob­lem. Stu­dents on the other hand should also show will­ing­ness to en­gage gov­ern­ment in a more diplo­matic way. Ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cials should re­frain from the habit of show­ing re­sponse only when stu­dents de­pict signs of be­ing un­ruly be­cause in such pe­ri­ods it’s of­ten too late to coun­ter­act the causes, how­ever only symp­toms are ad­dressed.

Ac­knowl­edge there’s a prob­lem

The first step in solv­ing a prob­lem is ac­knowl­edg­ing that there is a prob­lem. Once the chal­lenge is iden­ti­fied a proper root cause anal­y­sis tech­nique should be em­ployed to as­sess and de­tect mis­de­meanor and the ap­pro­pri­ate cor­rec­tive mea­sures can be taken there­after. Us­ing such tech­niques will not only ad­dress the sys­tem­atic prob­lems but it will also fa­cil­i­tate con­tin­u­ous and sus­tain­able in­tel­lec­tual growth of our ed­u­ca­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions and their over­all wel­fare.

The par­lous state of ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions as shown on national pub­li­ca­tions and elec­tronic me­dia may lead to de­gen­er­a­tive out­comes if not ad­dressed with the ur­gency and emer­gency it de­serves. Chal­lenges will al­ways be there, they help us to grow our or­gan­i­sa­tions so­cially, fi­nan­cially and aca­dem­i­cally.

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