Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Vocational Schools Require Life

Macedonian craftsmen work throughout Europe. Our engineers are all over the world. What they learnt from home is charged abroad. Poor market prices at home make them think about going abroad. Better status, more valued work, greater conditions for progress.

But new generations see Vocational Faculties with less and less attractiveness. The data is defeating – for five years, the number of students at Vocational Faculties has dropped by 5,000.

According to the State Statistical Office data obtained on the basis of the received reports, in the academic year 2018/2019, a total of 53 677 students are enrolled, which is a decrease of 5.7% compared to the academic year 2017/2018.

The situation with high schools is similar. The number of newly enrolled students could be counted in fingers. For example, the Textile School in Stip is struggling to survive. There, as in the other Vocational High Schools in the country, they often joke that there are more professors than students.

Professors are often the bright spot, dedicated professionals who love their jobs. Where is the problem, why do so few students choose to continue their education here?

Wrong educational policy, favoring of gymnasium profiles and the disappearance of certain industrial activities are the ones to blame for the half empty Technical Schools in the country. How high-profile schools have managed to enroll barely thirty students across the whole generation

Several years ago, municipalities also got engaged in various activities to revitalize these educational institutions. Confectioners and businessmen offered full scholarships and jobs after high school graduation in order to invest time in the workforce.

Even though, campaigns for revival of the Vocational High Schools are producing results, they are far from sufficient to fill the capacity of some high schools. As expected, most of the Gymnasiums, Medical and Economic Schools have been filled since the first day, while in the Vocational High Schools they rejoice for barely a dozen students.

The far known “From six to six for six”, which applied to poorly-paid confectioners, made the young man hesitate to create their fate in this way. Nowadays, the confectionery wards doesn’t smell like perfume, the work should be more paid.

Employers are in severe torments, there is work, and there are no workers.

What is the strategy to be done before it’s too late? Did our deadline expire yesterday for what we are thinking today?

Human resources are the most sought in the world, the most paid crafts. Will the country succeed in getting young people to look at Vocational Schools with different eyes?

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