Those Chased by Opportunities
Ten years or more ago, I was a member of a job interview committee Dhofar University. The job needed was a “media editor” to cover university news. The list of applicants was long, and among the applicants was a graduate specializing in journalism from a well-known university. The interview committee was optimistic that the applicant might be the most qualified to fill the post. The committee members required the person to be flexible, ready and efficient to wear four hats in the language of de Bono (Six Thinking Hats): an academic hat, a media post, a marketing promotion hat and an awareness hat.
The committee asked the graduate questions about his qualifications, hobbies, skills and aspirations, and then tested his English skills. My turn to ask questions was late. I asked the young man about the name of the university hegraduated from. He told me he graduated two years ago! I asked him about his specialty. He answered: journalism! I asked him “What have you done since you graduated from the university?” He replied: Nothing! My question was: Why? He said: I wait for the job!.
I asked him: What did you learn at university? He said: I told you I am a graduate of journalism !. I expected that graduate and his peers would think differently, be proactive and curious and not need to. It would have been better for him to make the job demand him by seeking, initiating, experimenting and going into various fields in a country with unlimited opportunities. Another young man was still in the ninth grade, and I was surprised that he was a volunteer who contributed to the organization of the Conference of Psychology in Salalah within the activities of Salalah Festival in 2017. He was also a participant as an intern in the Salalah Children’s Festival. I also noticed an open-minded young manis interested in exploration, initiatives, creativity and development, and looks for new opportunities in his life. This is the type that our educational institutions must be keen to graduate. Two weeks ago, I participated in a conference on education and psychology at Madinah International University in Malaysia. I was surprised that most of the organizers of the conference committees were students at the university. They work voluntarily and gain experience and skills and deepen their scientific affiliation to their university.
Education institutions must graduate people who think faster than their reality, anticipate the changes, precede them and contribute to its engineering. The graduate should not be a burden on his society; rather, he/she should help their country and enhance its development and progress.
Many institutions of education have begun to diversify their stages, get rid of the traditional approaches based on cognitive and theoretical knowledge and adopts the method of open curriculum that gives a positive role to the learner in order to wonder, experiment, think, analyze, infer, apply and adjust intellectual flexibility and mental alertness supported by desire, curiosity and pleasure.
Educational institutions can direct their students’ thinking to creativity-based thinking, creating opportunities, and looking for alternatives and solutions instead of restricted education that produces a useless worker. If I did not find a terrible field, the field was created in my soul and mind.
Dr. Ahmed bin Ali Al-Mashani
Head of the Office of Al Najah Center for Human Development