Fez - Higher Education plays a very critical role in society due to the fact that it is considered to be a site where new knowledge is produced and transferred to the students.
Fez – Higher Education plays a very critical role in society due to the fact that it is considered to be a site where new knowledge is produced and transferred to the students.
It is also a gate to the world of innovation, creativity, and production of human thought through extensive research and studies in different academic disciplines. At the same time, it is a location where the human capital is produced to be integrated in the job market to bring about social and economic enhancement.
Nevertheless, the quality and appropriateness of human capital go hand in hand with the needs of society and employment opportunities. Therefore, the main challenge of Moroccan Higher Education is that it is not up-to-date with the new changes that are taking place in a globalized world. Moroccan H.E has been educating a huge number of growing cohorts of students without making sure that these graduates will be effectively and successfully integrated in the market place.
In spite of the fact that research and studies indicate that education facilitates access to the job market and contribute to the reduction of unemployed university graduates, the World Bank Report (2002) found that Moroccan H.E suffers from a number of serious issues such as the quality of teaching and appropriate evaluation techniques and procedures. Ben Mokhtar and Lotfi (2004) admit that there are three basic factors behind graduate unemployment, which are summarized as follows: socio-economic, institutional, and pedagogical constraints.
Socio-economic factors are due to the lack of job opportunities in both the public and private sectors. This impeding factor springs from the inability to identify the needs of a rapidly changing job market on a local and global basis. As a result, a large portion of H.E graduates are not introduced to business and industry. The majority of university graduates believe blindly and strongly in the idea that the only way to get a job is through access to the public sector, which is very limited in itself. More importantly, a massive enrollment of students in free access schools is largely increasing, which makes the situation more and more complicated because the private sector in Morocco is still lagging behind and unable to hire these growing numbers of graduates. Hence, the rate of university graduates exceeds the required number of expected job opportunities.
Institutional factors are also of paramount importance because they have a very negative influence on H.E graduates joblessness. This issue stems from the massive enrolment of students in free access schools. According to Waast and Kleiche (2009), 9 per cent of Moroccan students attend professional institutions, whereas 91 per cent register in free access schools. Thus, Moroccan educational system is still rigid in the sense that it does not provide short-term programs that can prepare students for an effective integration in the job market.
Another problematic issue is that H.E institutions lack professional trained personnel. Teachers are not well trained to teach new introduced subjects, particularly when it comes to teaching subjects that require high specialization, such as business, tourism, industry, technology, etc. Furthermore, teachers’ methods of teaching are still traditional because they rely on lecturing and deductive ways of instruction.
The institutions do not have a continuous assessment and evaluation of quality control in order to establish modifications, additions, and rectifications, if necessary. In addition to this, infra-structure is including the physical setting, the didactic materials, and new technology is almost absent. Lastly, H.E institutions do not provide vocational education, which is very essential in developing students’ basic skills in a specific job situation. This issue comes from the lack of effective involvement of industrial partners in supporting this sort of education through establishing connections between H.E institutions and the economic environment.
Pedagogical constraints contribute negatively to the production of more unemployed graduates because of the teaching methods that do not encourage students to enhance their own personality, independence, and basic skills to ease access to the job market. Another equally important issue is that studies are taking far longer than planned, for instance instead of getting B.A degrees in 3 or 4 years, some students spend more than 9 years getting their degree. Teaching methods should be oriented toward training students in professional and technical areas and not just to giving ready-made knowledge and information.
Above all, the lack of a strong and consistent connection between general education, technical education, and vocational education leads to the production of more jobless H.E graduates because they do not have the required qualifications and enough training in professional fields to be easily and effectively integrated in the market place.
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