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Clear direction helps empower our graduates

Clear direction helps empower our graduates

Interview with Mr Farhan Saeed — Faculty Member, Tabani’s School of Accountancy

PAGE: Tell me something about yourself:

Farhan Saeed: I am a qualified accountant, full-time faculty member of Management Accounting by profession. I have been teaching professional accountancy qualifications; CA, ACCA, ICMA and ACCA since 1999. I have been associated with the Tabani’s School of Accountancy since 2004. Besides, I have also worked with The Centre for Management Sciences, Mithani’s House of Business Education, School of Business Studies and Escribir College of Advanced Studies not only as a teacher but as a key management person like Head of Academics, Vice-principal, Manager Education & Administration, Senior Manager, Education & as Head of Examinations.

PAGE: What is your perspective on the education system in Pakistan?

Farhan Saeed: Unfortunately, there is no established education policy available in our country, whether it is seen at early school level or higher education sphere. The most neglected area is our school level education, where we have been promoting cramming culture for years rather than learning the stuff. Neither teachers nor students at this stage are interested in changing the pattern. Notes culture, guess papers, selective studies, private tuition are still the norms here for years. Our syllabus requires some radical changes, we need to add stuff that really matters and help educate our students.

Stories of western culture, dramas, prose and poems are of no use. English must be taught as a language and not as a subject. Use of technology is the need of the hour in all stages of learning. In comparison, higher education in our country is comparatively in a better position.

PAGE: What is your take on the business education in Pakistan?

Farhan Saeed: I think our current business education system is not producing entrepreneurs rather we are preparing young future managers who would work hard to let their employers earn big amount through their efforts.

We need to engage investors here with our young graduates who provide them funds on soft terms and encourage them to start their own ventures. This will definitely create more employment in the country for all tangible and intangible resources. Mostly, our business education is university-specific, having different curriculums and resources available with them. Exams are not centrally monitored, sometimes teachers are asked to decide their own the syllabus, teach the students and evaluate themselves. Allocation of hours to cover the syllabus doesn’t match with the depth of the subjects, this will eventually reflect in the academic intellect of their graduates resulting into inadequate job opportunities.

PAGE: Have we made headway in maintaining the global standards of education?

Farhan Saeed: Unfortunately NOT! It’s been totally ignored as national agenda during the tenure of governments of different political parties taken education system as a priority. But yes, there are some exceptions as well, we have some reputable institutes in the country who are striving hard within their resources and capacity to bring some good changes in their curriculum and tune their graduates up to meet global challenges and standards. Professional accountancy qualifications has an advantage of compulsory following the international standards on corporate reporting and audit in their core subjects that’s why they are more close to global standards and find comparatively favourable employment opportunities in international job markets. However, our early and high school education systems need reforms in their curriculum, student-teacher engagement, teaching methodologies, use of information technology and consistent growth policy.

PAGE: Is our industry developed enough to accommodate the graduates churned out by the universities in Pakistan?

Farhan Saeed: There is a noticeable gap between these two corners of one’s career triangle. What universities are teaching today do not exactly match the requirements of industries at large, that’s why their graduates often find it difficult pursuing better career opportunities within the country commensurate to their abilities.

However, few universities offering faculties of engineering and business education have arrangements with the companies in different sectors offering sponsored courses leading to employment in the respective industries. Connection between the industries and universities need special considerations to help address the career frustration issues in young graduates.

PAGE: Are our graduates on a par with the rest of the world?

Farhan Saeed: We are very lucky in having dedicated, hardworking and brilliant youth around us who are curious, tech-savvy and intelligent in learning new things easily. What they are lacking in is their direction. If we could channelize them productively they would definitely make difference. The brilliance of our youth has frequently been reflected in various international exams conducted in the country where they emerged remarkably as global winners. So, I am not disappointed at all with my young graduates and do not take them below par of their global counterparts, we as educationist are required to provide them access to learning resources and train them pursue their dreams.

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