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Education Requirements in Information Technology Age

Prof. Suleman Siddiqi for Hyderabad Youth Mirror #

This age of Information Technology has thrown open new avenues and has brought knowledge at our door steps. Overwhelming changes are taking place in different spheres of our life, therefore, it is time that the young Muslim youth must set their goals, reorient themselves to the requirements of the time, age and society.

The requirements of the present day industry, corporate and private sector have changed drastically. They are looking for young, dynamic, honest, committed and skilled youth. Apart from the domain knowledge, you are required to possess sound knowledge of other subjects as well.

In this age of 24 x 7, we need to orient our self to the choice-based credit system, which will enhance the knowledge and marketability of the student. This is a self-learning age. Sitting at home you can register yourself for any certificate, diploma or any other program online. You can write your exams online and download your results.

I would like to share with you a story of a young girl who did her degree program in English literature from McGill University, Montreal, Canada. After her marriage she moved to Middle East with her husband. There she appeared for an interview in a school to teach English language and literature.

After the interview, the principal informed her that she is the best, but she also said she has not been selected. On enquiry she was informed that she has to her credit no teacher training program. She went home, sat on the computer, went online and found a teacher training program of six months.

She registered herself, downloaded the material, studied hard and wrote her exam online. She travelled to London with her husband for three weeks to teach in a school. She came back, downloaded her certificate and went to the same school and she was appointed on a substantially good salary. This is the easiest way to enhance your knowledge and marketability. Take advantage of this great facility which was not available to us when we were students.

As I said earlier, this is the age of 24 x 7. People who are willing to work round the clock and who are committed are being preferred. The wife of a close friend of mine died recently. His son came all the way from U.S.A. During his journey to Hyderabad he was working on his laptop at the airport and during the flight despite this tragedy.

After the funeral was over, he came and said, uncle I’m leaving tomorrow. I was shocked and told him that your father is alone, he need to stay back at least for a while. I advised him to send an email to his office requesting them to grant him a leave of one week, apt came the reply, “Though you are not in office, you are in office, leave is granted.” Take a lesson from this disturbing event, but appreciate the commitment of this young lad of twenty-five years.

One among the present day requirements are the communication skills. It is essential that while one completes degree or the P.G program, one must develop the communication skills. My elder Brother gave me a mantra. I will pass this mantra to you. You will be reluctant and hesitant to speak English at home, with your relatives and friends.

What you need to do is to start speaking English when you enter the bus and stop English when you are out of the bus. You must speak English on enquiry counters at railway platforms, airports and malls. In ten minutes your audience is gone and you are free to switch back to your own mother tongue.

He also advised me to read a small column from any English newspaper daily. He asked me to note a word on a piece of paper, check its spelling and meaning and keep it in the pocket of my shirt and go through it number of times. This will add thirty words to your vocabulary in a month. If you can do this exercise for six months without break, I can assure you will be speaking fluent English. Try this mantra.

The pace of learning and work culture has changed drastically; therefore, we need to orient our self to distance education programs, online courses, virtual classrooms, digital libraries, language laboratories, incubation centers, electronic data banks, seminars and workshops to enhance our knowledge.

Today, parents are keen to admit their wards either in medicine, engineering, MCA or MBA. There are very few Muslim candidates who are opting for basic sciences and courses like Micro-Biology, Bio-Chemistry, Bio-Technology and many such other courses. The number of Muslim scientists is diminishing and has reached a stage of single digit. Time has come for all the Muslim parents to ponder and inculcate among the youth the love for science, social sciences, law and humanities.

Though we have entered the post-modern era, the ethical values, respect for parents, elders and help for the poor and the needy, which is enshrined in our religion – Islam is fast disappearing in our day to day life. Islam wants to establish a just, ethical and economically balanced society.

Muslim youth must exemplify themselves by adopting and adoring these values. Huge material is available on different Islamic websites. Please spend your ten minutes every day with these sites that will make you a true and a valuable Muslim.

Such people and nations who do not equip themselves according to the time, age and society are relegated into background. Time has come to regroup, reorganize and fall in line with the requirements of our time. Education is the key. Wishing you all the best!

(The writer is an ex-Vice Chancellor of Osmania University, Hyderabad and currently teaches in Islamic Studies Dept.)

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