AREN'T BUSINESS SCHOOLS MAKING ZOMBIES?
KAMRAN AHMED SOOMRO
Mar 22 - 28, 2010
"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for the lifetime." This Chinese proverb highlights the importance of teaching and education. We can generate independent and capable people through proper education and training. Education really makes person valuable and purified. In the widespread range of various educational disciplines, Business education is also a prominent and significant one.
Business studies include various degrees and courses at graduate and postgraduate levels offered by business colleges and universities. Such institutes usually provide understanding and exposure to the principles and fundamentals related to the field of business. BBA, MBA, MS, PhD etc. are some of the most common courses offered by the business institutes. Ideally, such institutes must provide students with platform to learn basics of the subjects and also to have a practical exposure to the application of subjects.
In Pakistan, business study is a major preference of students as well as parents. Many institutes offer business education. But, unfortunately there have been very few best business institutions in the country. Today when this field seems to be going mature and saturated in the world, it is still in growing stage. Even more tense and worrisome fact is that majority of these business institutions are concentrated in some metropolitan cities. So, this confines availability of benefit to very few students of a particular region.
In most of the institutes, the teaching methodology is theoretically based. And, the content and cases in the books are totally based on foreign countries. So there we find the clear variation and gap between the texts we study and the local environment and real life. Students are directed to study the stories of business successes or failures originating from foreign publishers, which barely have any relevance to local issues. The text books are not updated to the acceptable world standards.
LACK OF PRACTICAL EXPOSURE
There is usually absence of such practical matters in the teaching and learning system that could determine the successful application of the studies. Therefore, most of the time, these professional students reside in the world of imagination and only in their visualizations they try to make the base of their learning and the foundation of future.
The students rarely have gist of what is going on in the real world. Throughout the semester, emphasis is laid down on the completion of dozens of chapters and notes. There is really lack of strong academic-corporate relations, which can enhance the chance and opportunity of bringing practical examples and cases of businesses in the class for discussions.
The graduates having no contribution of their own in the whole period of learning usually do not feel their knowledge sufficient to be applied in the daily business life. Variety of the subjects being taught in the institutes are based on such a pattern and theme that usually do not encourage the knowledge creation and knowledge distribution.
After passing four or six years in these traditional business schools when students enter the job market, they are mostly refused and neglected because they become unable to use their mind to process the cases in interviews based on local and creative nature. This is not their mistake. They may have in fact never been motivated to think beyond the books. This situation is usually more serious with graduates of public institutes, though those of private do not have different story.
The business graduates of universities when enter the organizations, they have to face lot of challenges. The type of work and job nature appears unknown and hard task for them. Because, they do not find the similar conditions as they expected after cramming the books and lectures. This causes dissatisfaction of employers.
As majority of the graduates are not extraordinary and they cannot overcome the drawbacks or lacking of the system, they suffer the most on account of unavailability of suitable job for them. Their ratio of employment is lower and most of the graduates suffer from joblessness and contribute to the youth unemployment, in the competitive age and job market.
The syllabus of the business institutes must be revisited and modernized on the latest teaching methodologies utilizing the technological tools. In the senior classes, the whole teaching must be made case study based in which practical and real life cases of the local companies must be brought into the classes and put for the discussions. In this way, the students usually feel more comfortable and adjustable, and they can easily contribute to their best. Moreover, the teachers must be fully trained and monitored to implement the new systems successfully.
At this stage of professional education, the students must be encouraged rather fostered to be creative contributors. They must be provided such an environment where they can feel free to share whatever they feel and think. Their ideas must be appreciated and rectified. They must be encouraged to bring their own cases and approaches to the solutions.
The fear of examination if eradicated can produce genius and intellect out of the students. Their attitude towards the typical tests must be changed. The exams must be conducted from the cases and must be marked according to the originality and creativity rather than accuracy. This will bring the real sense of higher education and will help produce productive business leaders.
The business institutes must extend their strong corporate relationships in order to benefit the students by making available the various opportunities for them like internships, projects, scholarships, assignments, reports, periodic industrial visits etc. The experts of the subjects and the professionals must regularly be invited to deliver lecture, seminars, and conferences in order to update the students of the current industry trends and practices.