Gaza Strip .. Graduates without work for years and academic education away from the market | culture and society Social issues from the depths of Germany and the Arab world | DW

Inside his home in Gaza’s Sheikh Radwan neighborhood, Ezz El-Gammal is following online lectures on advanced graphic design after he completed his initial graphic design in late April last year.

The 29-year-old seeks to enter the job market through graphic design after he despaired of being employed in his field of study, economics. He graduated from the Faculty of Economic and Administrative Sciences at Al-Azhar University in Gaza in 2015.

El-Gamal is one of three friends who decided to go into e-learning and take courses in disciplines different from their undergraduate and away from traditional university education, and chose different specializations from their undergraduate majors because they considered what they studied. the university did not meet the needs of the market and the development of the disciplines they needed.

The Palestinian Center for Statistics reported that in the Gaza Strip there are about 300 thousand university graduates, who have not found a job even once, since their graduation, as a job within the policy of a permanent or temporary contract, while the degree of poverty and unemployment rises to 85%.

On the other hand, there are more than 15 academic educational institutions in the Gaza Strip with more than 100,000 enrolled students and tens of thousands of graduates graduating each year, according to data from the Ministry of Education and Higher Education in the Gaza Strip.

However, Ezz El-Gammal sees from his own experience, as well as from the experiences of many graduates, his friends and those around him, that university studies in Gaza with the current system do not give them a path to a practical life.

The practical and practical aspect does not matter much during academic studies at most universities in the Gaza Strip.

His studies in economics at the College of Economic and Administrative Sciences came as a result of his desire, as not many people study this degree, but Ezz El-Gammal discovered after graduation that it was a direction that has no future in the Gaza Strip in the middle of a half. -Destroyed economy and a practical life that he considered far from what they studied in the specialty during his training on Over a year in auditing and economic and financial analysis.

Al-Jamal says in an interview with DW Arab: “The Palestinian market is in one valley and university education is in another. After university life, we face many disappointments, I am tired of applying for jobs, I applied for dozens of jobs years ago uselessly, and job interviews follow “Hundreds and few people are accepted, so I rushed to study a specialty until it became financially independent.”

On the other hand, Samar Ayed (also 29 years old) is still awaiting her role in the appointment of new teachers in public schools in Gaza, after passing the test of teachers for primary schools last year.

Samar does not have a new skill despite encouraging her friends to study or learn a new skill. Unlike her friends, her family prefers their daughter to work as a teacher and sees her as her best specialty as a woman, she explains. She has been unemployed for seven years, namely since graduating from Al-Aqsa University in Gaza.

University education in the Gaza Strip is far from the job market, and for this reason male and female graduates turn to deviance after university.

There are women graduates in Gaza who are encouraged to study or learn a new skill for the job market, but there are also families who prefer their daughters to work as teachers and say, “It’s the best specialty for them to be a woman. “.

Gain software skills that save graduates

As for Medhat Ataya, 37, he graduated from the Islamic University in 2008, specializing in architecture, but currently works as an application programmer. iOSHe plunged into the world of software in 2015 and gained and developed the skill after spending seven years without a job. He also trained university graduates in programming and noted the huge gap between academic education and work reality.

Ataya tells him DW Arabic: “I tried illegal immigration in 2014, and the attempt failed and I almost died at the last minute on a boat in the Mediterranean. I did not find any job, although I applied for many jobs, but I found myself with software, and today “It’s my life, and job-seeking graduates are in fact victims, and academic education in Gaza lacks a market and development methodology.”

“Education policy in the Gaza Strip has not changed despite the need of the labor market for new specializations to keep pace with its needs,” notes Nashat Zayed, a retired education supervisor. Zayed explains that many educational institutions rely on the academic system and traditional disciplines that graduate the largest number of students, such as the faculties of education and the faculties of management and business.

Zayed has previously worked as a school and academic curriculum development consultant for UNRWA and Arab educational institutions, and has participated in many seminars on the development of Palestinian academic and school curricula, but he reveals that “the Gaza Strip environment needs to be opened up. for the world, so that the education sector can develop further in the light of living under a constant Israeli siege.

Zayed says: “If we look at the disciplines, we will find that most of them have not changed their names, the nature of the subjects or their academic policy, noting that a number of them have no practical training.”

Graduates of the University of Gaza.

The gap between the higher education policy in the occupation and the market need there has created a large number of unemployed male and female graduates.

“On the other hand, there is an excuse for some university institutions not to specialize, as the Palestinian market is largely dilapidated, and the country is still experiencing difficult political conditions and is under occupation,” Zayed said.

The former school and academic curriculum development consultant believes that staff working in the Palestinian market are young and can be used optimally, but the obstacle is the lack of a systematic development strategy for universities.

Zayed believes that the specializations needed for the Gaza market are of the disciplines such as graphic design, “animation” (animation), engineering and the production of intelligent applications, animation, specialized digital media, market management, hotel management and restaurants. , and cyber security.

There are no financial budgets for universities

Economic analyst Ziad Skaik warns independent academic education in Gaza that it faces risks accumulated over the years. Skaik points out that the Ministry of Higher Education in the West Bank has not paid any annual financial budget to Gaza Strip universities for almost eight years, which makes Gaza universities rely heavily on collecting university fees from students.

Skaik also points out that “the problem is ingrained in society to the extent that student families are forced to borrow or receive installments to secure university fees for their children and the obligations the university requires from students accumulate even after their graduation which causes a major crisis for universities, and this is a major reason for the development of university facilities, facilities and the academic system.

“There are workers in Gaza universities who receive only half their salaries for two years or more. “Apart from the income from student fees, academic education is mainly based on state support and a good economy, and these two things are not on the horizon at the moment in the Gaza Strip,” Skaik said.

Gaza – Amjad Yaghi

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