Sunday 28 February 2010

eConomic or eThical Crisis

I just couldn’t sleep tonight, it is always very overwhelming when I come to these agents workshops to see the schools and the agents tire themselves to make sure that they are doing the right thing for the “kido” that will eventually be the “bum on seat” who will learn and return home to become a member of the “knowledge society” that we are all here working towards.

Ok lets take it from the start. You have a dream of creating a knowledge society, but you are not a government, who has the control of all the resources, and of course you are not rich, which would mean you are not going to be in diamond exploration business rather in the dreamers business. Then the late nights, the midnight coffee, and the long working hours all year round starts. Your diary will be shaped to work around the school system, exhibitions will only happen when the young members of the knowledge society have exams, and then there are the trips to the various schools and colleges to determine quality, and the long night trying to match the requirements of the various countries and the accreditations and the long list of what students need to study and where. And then the student’s emails, and the phone calls. I counted on days we will be working for eighteen hours just to complete the tasks. Now of course we do not have seasons any more as we seem to be working nonstop all year round.

All of this is great if it bears the fruits. An agent or an education consultant ( as I prefer to call him/her) have devoted time and invested funds to make it easy for the students, parents and funding providers to travel to their destination quickly and to start their studies on time without delays and without interruptions. This consultant has passion for learning and passion for education and hence the long hours and the hard work are the stepping stones for the young learners.

The consultant have the responsibility to prove that he is here to facilitate the trip and be part of that learner till he or she complete his/her education and come back to become a member of the knowledge society that we are creating. In the mean time of course we need to receive the rewards of the hard work.

Does this happen? It could happen but not to every body. You would ask why not? Its only natural to assume that we are not in a perfect market. And if you studies economics this is a perfect question. Lets put things into perspective and figure out why:

1. There is the group who become agents for the wrong reasons:
Earn more money than usual
Get all the students
Get to the scholarship providers in any way
Charge the students gigantic amounts of money
Officials start to learn that agents make commissions so they want part of it too

2. And there is a group who are friends with counselors in various schools, and those counselors push the students there way.
3. And there is a group who lie and say that they are government or semi government just to be able to introduced to the kings and the queens
4. And there is us, grass root marketers who work for the student and choose for him/her what is best.
I think each one of us have contributed to the economic crisis in one way or another, however because we are in the education field, we must not create an ethical crisis too. which country can survive if both of these elements are infected?

Saturday 27 February 2010

Women lawyers allowed to Practice???

How can I start, my blood rushed to my face, I thought it was due to the hot flushes that I am having these days, but it wasn't, it was due to listening to the news from the BBC about KSA allowing women lawyers to practice? I couldn't believe my ears, why should an authority involve itself with what a person should choose as a way of life, if I want to be a lawyer then a lawyer I should be and I will prove myself and practice like any body else whether in court or in corporations. I have to prove that I am good lawyer and no one else should say that you are now allowed or not allowed depending on the mood of the person that day or which side of the bed he woke up from?

I dont think that blaming Islam for this is correct, I don't think that Islam had stopped women from taking up any job, and studying any major. Are we having a second God on earth? I wonder

Mentioning majors, which is what I do, but we yet have to see a major that is gender specific! so women are welcome to choose the major that fit their profile, and men also can choose depending on their ability, desire, aptitude and many other reasons.  I noticed for example that boys from UAE prefer to do business studies, and girls are mostly drawn towards medicine and other health sciences, this year is the first year we enroll an Emirati girl in a major that is close to my heart, renewable energy. But students from other gulf countries go for majors that are relevant to their countries' labour market needs.  Of course that doesn't mean that UAE people want to manage only (as we tend to outsource industry specific people from various countries in the world rather than depend on our own people to do these jobs) but being a few compared to the needs of the industry, they are best to be in management of industry and finance sectors.  I must say that they are very clever in these two fields too.  The number of UAE entrepreneurs I have seen during my life here is amazing, and all of them tend to run their businesses very well and turn them around to be in the one million dollar sphere.

So if Saudi is averse to having its female people practice Law (for some reason or the other) and female students want to study law, then the only way to do that is for them to move to Dubai! that could be one solution, and the other solution is to work for corporations and law firms rather than for the courts.  Or we can have satalite offices that broadcast from the lawyer's home to the court so no one would see the woman.