Saturday, May 12, 2007

IT education in Maldives

I've always thought that the education system here in Maldives, is only targeted to produce quantity not quality. You just give them sheets with questions and answers and ask them to memorize them. Its does not matter if they understand them or not, as long as they are able to answer those questions; thats what we currently define as good education. The paper qualification is what the parents and the society expects, not the skills, talent or the knowledge that students have. Its a very difficult topic and will be out of the context of my main interest.

I've had experience a few years back teaching computing for school kids. It was a good experience and one I enjoyed. The syllabus back then encouraged students to develop really good IT skills in a wide area. The basics was covered with some good practicals. Programming was a must, as it should be since the subject was computing.

The problem back then was, the lack of good teachers (the government employed cheap labor and no proper planning was there) and hardware and other resources. These were just some of the problems, then around the year 2000, Min. of Education decided to lower the standards (the result was good politically, as more students would manage to pass and some manage to get outstanding results). The new syllabus was really weak compared to the older one. It is not the right type of foundation for IT. This has been proven over the last few years. The same trend has been moving on, even at the higher education level. Even at the FMC (I think its faculty of management and computing) there is no proper standards. The main objective is to provide students with paper qualification not to improve and develop the skills of the students. At the foundation level Visual Basic is the primary language. This alone shows level of quality in the program. To sum up, the fact that we have such a hard time employing skilled IT professionals alone proves the above points. The fact that Indians and Sri Lankan companies are employed to develop our applications and design and maintain our networks and hardware are more then enough proof. Its sad to know that this is the case, and no proper action is taken or this is ever talked about. But then over the last few years I also have come to accept that these won't change any time sooner. There simply is no awareness at all. Anyway the most profitable business in the country presently is politics and the leaders (ultimately the business men) are too busy doing business rather then focusing on issues such as education, health or future of our economy.

"Anyway who gives a damn?, do you?" :)

Related references.
Maldives and FLOSS
Schools across Japan may switch to Linux


ThalaGolaa said...

very true... they seriously looks for quantity.. rather than quality.
i have first hand experience of the standards of FMC. LOL. feels like i spent something like RF25,000 just to have fun and study something i already knows.

"hello world" c++ programming, and a simple POS system from VB.. thats what we did back then.

the place sucks big time!!!!

aM said...

This is how it goes

grade 7- vB 6.0
grade 8-10 - no programin (while i was studyn...)
grade 11-12 - no computer studies at all
higher education (FMC) -
learning C in fmc

int a,b,c;

thats it... :)