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Unemployed Undergrads – Tharuna Aruna

August 31, 2006
Yes, today I have decided to dedicate my rant to the above mentioned. I do not know much about the “Tharuna Aruna” programme, but I’ll give my opinion about it and the fellows anyway.
So C.W.C Kannagara got this brilliant idea of Free Education, and did his part making all Text Books freely available for Students. I think it was Premadasa who gave out Cloth for students uniform, and then some one pitched in with “Milk” and “Banis” for the students too. Hell even Mahinda pledged Lunch for students (I don’t know how far it has gone to being implemented on a daily basis). Anyway, all these efforts have been made inorder to support the notion of Free Education. Hell some of these kids who do well in Scholarship get a monthly allowance until they complete University. Not that you’ll see those kids, playing pool with that money, but it’s something. I knew a few guys back in School who used to get it.

So what am I getting at? Well my thing is that, you get a free education upto Uni (if you make it, unlike me) after that why do you want a Free Job? What do I mean? Well these guys want it easy! They expect to be Educated by the Govt, then to be found a Job by the Govt! Hell, I’m thinking they want the Govt to find them a Wifey too!

Why? So these lazy asses can go to their Govt Job’s and live a cool life working probably 3 hours a day, striking every 3 months for various reasons, and when they retire end up with a healthy pension. Talk about giving something back to the Country eh?

IMO, you got a free education, now get off your asses and make your self useful! Don’t sit around expecting the Govt to find you jobs! Don’t be afraid of the Private Sector! They might work you to the bone, but they’ll pay you in return!

“Tharuna Aruna” – According to the minister (I have no respect for) this programme was meant to give a training for Grads to seek jobs in the Private Sector. So now you have buggers who finished their training asking for “Govt” jobs!! What the hell, why can’t you guys make it in the Private Sector??

“Monks” – My respect for Buddhist Monks is going down, day by day. I think Mahinda needs to carry out a “Dharma Sangayanawa”. Anyways, what’s wrong with them? I see a monk on T.V. complaining about the same topic. Geez! I thought they were supposed to get their education in a “Pirivena”, go to university follow something in “Buddhist Philosophy” or something in those lines, so that they can use those teachings in their Temples. I don’t have anything against Monks teaching in Schools. But thats it. Not politics nor other jobs!

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. Voice_in_Colombo permalink
    August 31, 2006 7:09 am

    Good thoughts man. I (and most of my batch mates) fought it hard against this “Government Job mentality” prevailing in our local universities. We organized many interactive events with private sector organizations, to promote private sector jobs among university graduates, and university graduates among private sector employers. But, it still is a rock hard myth to break from the heads of these idiots!

    I have 2 nice examples. I have one of my friends passed out from Dept of accountancy of USJP. That degree, along with part qualification in ICASL (Which is very cheap compared to CIMA) will earn you a minimum Rs.50,000/- per month job very easily in SL, (and it’s accepted in other countries as well), after about 3 years work experience. But, my friend opted the “most conventional way”. He took one of the jobs offered by UPFA government during 2004 under 40,000 jobs scheme, and joined a government ministry with a pension scheme and 9 to 5 work schedule! He’s satisfied with his, Rs.12,000/- salary and happyly dream about the pension he gets after about 30 years!

    And he’s really surprised to hear that, I work up untill 10.30pm most of the days, without being paid overtime. He also surprised to hear that, I enjoy the flexibility of coming to the office even at 10.00 in the morning, without being bombarded by the HR manager!

    And there was another guy who left a high rank HR job at a well known garment factory with a salary of Rs.80,000/- plus car with fuel, and joined NSB as a management trainee. Because, his parents had a dream of making their son a “Bankuwe Mahaththaya” !!!!

    I think this comes from the immense influence of JVP politics in our university system. The basic principles of JVP politics is “private sector is evil” and “everything should be controlled by the government”. So they brainwash all the new entrants to the universities with this myth. They give the message that private sector jobs are “insecure” because they don’t have “pensions” and they will throw you out at any time. And they say, private sector is “exploiting” the labour and all sorts of marxist points of 19th century.

    Very few will stay out from these brainwashing sessions and realise the truth.

    About Tharuna Aruna, actually i also don’t know much details, but I guess it was a program aimed at “filling the skill gap” of local university graduates to meet the levels required by present day employers. And never intend only “government employers!”

    I have comented on this topic sometime back somewhere in Nirmal Jayasinghe’s blog. In the future, I’ll try to brief all my thoughts here and there on this topic into one blog post.

  2. Excape permalink
    August 31, 2006 9:47 am

    Sri Lankan music video:

  3. Chaar~Max permalink
    August 31, 2006 11:03 am

    Exactly! People dont realize that you can earn more money, save it in stocks, bonds, hell even “Tree Planting” or your own Pension scheme that organizations offer.

    Our people are afraid. They want Job Security, and hate changes. If your job required you to press 2 buttons every day, they are going to make a big fuss if you get them to press 3 buttons.

    They dont realize that your ability to change/adapt gives you higher value, and it’s more of a challenge than the stagnent job you do, day after day.

    It’s time Sri Lankans (the majority) start thinking out of the box. Not only those in urban areas. SL Youth have various untapped skills. This country needs a shift so people realize their own skills, and make use of it.

    I don’t know what “Tharun Aruna” promised, but they should realize that they will help identify your skills, and develop them. After that it’s upto you to either find a job in that skill market, or do your own thing.

    Hell, it’s gonna be hilarious if I do CCNA in an institute, and demand them to find me a job. Mind you I pay these guys for the Course as well.

    If we are to compete with Singapore and all these other booming countries, we need to change our mindset! I’m not asking al the “Goviays” to come and work in CAll Centers or S/W Companies. But they need to think of what their skills are, and follow that path, instead of the stero type of “Ape Muth Anduwe Loku Clark Mahaththayek”. There is only soo much that a Govt. can do.

    This same thinking is draggin the state sector down. As VIC says we all know who is behind all of this! There is only one party that will enjoy/profit from a Country with lesser Interlecutal ability and more Brawn!

  4. Savi permalink
    August 31, 2006 4:49 pm

    hey, my dad, who is a corporate trainer(he works on his own)and some of his colleagues were hired by the government for the Tharuna Aruna programme.To the best of my knowledge,it was a programme introduced by the government so that local graduates will develop their personality skills, english etc so that they would be more marketable in the private sector.

    From what I used to hear from him, these kids didnt have much knowledge of the modern world or what they can do in the pvt sector.Most of the classes consisted of kids from very humble backgrounds who had spent most of their lives in the most remote villages.They had studied day and night just to get into uni and their parents, sometimes even grandparents, had sold everything they could to send them to uni.They are largely ignorant of the current career trends or the available job oppotunities. I can distinctly remember him mentioning Geography graduates who had no idea about eco tourism and people who did degrees in Agriculture because that was the one only subject that they got in for, at university.

    For these kids,penetrating the private sector is quite a tough task.I have feeling that one reason that they opt for government jobs is not only because it is the easy way out, but because the private sector work environment intimidates them to a certain extent.and it is completely understandable too.These people dont feel like they belong in these ‘posh’ work places,with a bunch of Colombo- school educated, english speaking folk.I’m sure some of us may feel equally alienated in an average government office.

    I clearly remember my dad relating this story in shock, one day. There has been a girl in one of the Tharuna Aruna classes, who held a first class honours degree as well as a masters in Econ from Colombo Uni.She was working as a teaching assistant there. When she got called for an interview at DFCC,one of my dad’s colleagues had tried to give her directions as to how to get there and had mentioned the Taj (hotel, obviously) and she had told him that she has never even heard of such a place.(You would by now,have realised that she has been living in Colombo for at least the past 6 yrs.)Appalled, my dad’s colleague had asked “kudayak arang wath galle face ekata gihin nadda?” (havent u even gone to galle face with an umbrella?)

    Their mindset and environment is so different to that of our’s, that sometimes we cannot understand them as much they cannot understand us.

  5. Sam permalink
    August 31, 2006 9:40 pm

    ‘Tharun Aruna’ is for university graduates! What the fuk!
    ‘Tharun Aruna’ is for university graduates! What the fuk!
    I try to figure out and make a sense out of that ~ but I can’t. I really can’t. It is not logical.

    We train those humans ~ free of cause ~ train them for 4 years. We even give some of them free money (Bloody hell! Even free money!). We done with the exam.
    Now do we have to train them again! Fuk! (Apologize for my French! But I’m still can’t think about any other word). I don’t think even the string theory is able to explain this situation.

    Agree with voice_of_colombo. If I had to blame any one for this, I will defiantly blame JVP and their grandparent socialists’ mother fkers.

    At the end of the day it is not the kid’s fault. It is our university system fail to provide the skills the society needs. University heads may tell you, how many Graduates and Doctors they generate. But at the end of the day it do not matter how many Olympic gold medal we have for high jump, if we can’t find one to climb a coconut tree.

    By the way, not only university graduates scared (do they scared or just lazy?) of private sector ~ Private sector scared of university graduate too. I know that ~ because I’m one of them.

    After some good (bad) experience and careful evaluation, I decide I will never hire any FRESH university graduates again. (I have exceptional view about ‘Peradeniya Univercity’ freshmen for some reason though.)

    Anyway after some one else ‘break’ this University guys ~ they are good workers.
    But my specialty is on braking wild horses. I think that is what ‘Tharun Aruna’ trying to do. Break these wild horses and make them useful.

    But then what the Fuk University is?! Is that a stable for wild horses scared of outside world?

    Very good post man.

  6. Chaar~Max permalink
    September 1, 2006 4:00 am

    And here I was waiting for this post to pass under the mat/bed.

    Savi : Thanks for the comment puts things into perspective now. Rather than us just rambling on one side of the road.

    Big Question : How do we bridge the gap?

    From what you have said, the “Tharuna Aruna” programme was catered for that. However, unlike horses been broke at later stages, I belive humans have to be broken at a tender age.

    Lot of people have many roles to play in this. This starts with the divition of rich and poor. Although Sri Lanka doesn’t have a clast system, the division is very evident.

    And there are many people, especially petty politicians (unfortunately not only JVP although majority is JVP) who take advantage of the lack of these skills by people. They like it when people are stupid, and have no other means but tp be stuck in their villages. That way they have to rely on the G.A. the Poltician in the District and other Govt Goons to sell their paddy, get a job, put thei children to school etc. What do the

    Politicians get out of this? They get to sell their lies to the stupid people and get their votes, and remain in power.

    This is the main problem I see, politicians do not want to “Empower” people as they will lose their strong hold. They want this “Dependent” culture to go on. This is the no 1 reason (in my opinion), the root cause.

    Poverty which is blamed for everything in this country, is not the cause for this, it’s a RESULT of it!

  7. Voice_in_Colombo permalink
    September 1, 2006 5:13 am

    //We train those humans ~ free of cause ~ train them for 4 years\\\
    Very true Sam. What we expect from Schools is primary & secondary education to make good citizens. And what we expect from Universities is professional education to make a good work force for the country. So, why the hell do we need to train them again? What a joke! Instead of training them under “Tharuna Aruna” or what ever the fuck, what if rectify the whole university system?

    And, about Savi’s comment I have some thing to add. Why the univesity graduates appear as a bunch of people without common sense in general is again to blame the university system. Not the “kids”. Why, that girl didn’t know “Taj” even after living in Colombo for 6 years, is; during all 6 years, her university expected her “only” to attend the lectures and pass exams. The system never facilitate her to explore the world around her.

    But, I have practical experience of being a part of such degree programs where university allows us to interact with the practical world, and expand our knowledge. My, degree program was tatally aimed at “practical marketing profession” , so they allowed us to be employed in our 3rd and 4th year at university. As a result, once I passed out from the uni, I had 2 years experience in advertising & brand management. And, believe me once I enter the uni, i could only read & understand English. But, since our programs was totally English medium, today I’m blogging in English (with lot of mistakes!) and speak at company meetings in English. This is what we expect of university education. There are practically very few such degree programs in this country. My one was a good example. But, even for that that degree program, we had loads of objections from JVP’er. (Marketing is a “tool” of capitalism!). I know, there are several such good programs are coming up in Uni of Kelaniya. Uni of Mora is also good at “degree programs with practical approach”.

    But, yet majority of degree programs in our system is still old fashioned. And the worst thing is, every year we enroll 2 arts undergraduates, when we enroll 1 from all the other schemes collectively! But it’s obvious that we don’t need such huge amount of arts graduates. So, what happen clearly is once they get passed out they’ll shout at Fort railway station for “govt jobs”. Because, private sector doesn’t want arts graduates to work for their vacancies!

    So, to start it from the begining, we should first reduce the number of arts undergraduates enrolled to universities, and use that free resources to accomodate more and more managment, engineering, and science graduate. It’s basis demand and supply theory for the job market in SL!

  8. Savi permalink
    September 1, 2006 3:12 pm

    I completely agree with you, when you say that the gap amongst the rich and the poor is huge and that humans should be ‘broken’ at a young age.There is definitely a lot of things that need to done to the system in order to change it and empower the youth.

    But it must be also noted that universities or the education system cannot do everything.What I find,the most baffling,is their attitude.They dont want to find out about their surroundings,they are happy with just going to and fro from classes to home. I’m going to a university,thousands of miles away from home, but when I went there, I bothered to explore the place and find out where things were.I’m doing a maths degree, exploring my surroundings isnt a part of my curriculum!These people just dont seem to want to do that, even when they are given the resources and opportunity.

    Even though science graduates are definitely more demanded,arts graduates are perfectly capable of finding job in developed countries.The issue lies more on the skills acquired during the course of study, as opposed to the substance learnt. VIC,like you said, most of the courses in our universities are taught in the ‘old fashioned’ way, if the courses were designed to develop skills such as critical thinking, analysis and creativity in order to appropriately suit the job market, these problems would be much less.

  9. childof25 permalink
    September 1, 2006 4:54 pm

    With regard to the JVP and similar ‘theological’ parties (if i use the right word) ignorance is their most effective weapon, so dont expect them to give that up without a fight.

    Savi with regard to the baffling attitude, I think its a bit of comparing apples to oranges. You (and I hope I’m not being too presumptious in assuming a bit about your background;) and I have had some exposure to big city, western culture so are more open to explore, do different things, etc. I reckon the ‘inertia’ for someone who is from an underdeveloped village from SL to get out and experience even life in Colombo is so much more than for us.

    I have no idea what it is like in a local uni…but from undergrad and grad in England I must say I didnt learn (or recall) too many facts. but I did build those skills of critical thinking and analysis which are so important in the job field today. And the experience of college also taught me flexibility and adaptability which are equally invaluable. I think these skills especially in SL get neglected, hence the want for a comfort zone and the gravitation towards those govt jobs with a ‘pension’ (which will probably soon be a thing of the past).

  10. Sam permalink
    September 1, 2006 10:21 pm

    Soap and education are not as sudden as a massacre, but they are more deadly in the long run. ~ Mark Twain

    Curiosity is symbol of intelligent.
    Animal like Cats, Dogs are generally curious, nosy – so they are on top of the food chain – animals at lower level not inquiring – they not intelligent. Humans other hand curious than every other creature ~ we are inquisitive about our environment ~ we are inquisitive about the world, universe and even life after… We Sri Lankan, generally curious humans. We are not stupid.
    If that girl not curious enough to explore the environment she live in ~ she is unintelligent.

    Totally agree with childof25 about he didn’t learn ‘facts’ but he improve his ‘skills’. University is not supposed to be a place to learn knowledge any more. Ask me about ‘Gauge theory’ – I will explain everything you need to know. All I need is Google. But ask me to prove ‘Gauge theory’ is wrong – I can’t – I don’t have that skill.

    We Sri Lankan have deferent issue altogether. We tax payers – we are not rich. Only kitchen knows how we eat. But one way or another we pay for the university education. We can’t provide everything university wants. But we provide best as we can. It is not wrong for us to expect some skills in return.

    It is bullshit complain ‘there are no jobs’. There are enough jobs everywhere. There are no skilled labors. There are no jobs for under-skills. Skills we need in work place is not only technical – we need skills to work smart, skills to dress correct, skills to be loyal, skills to talk smart, skills to respect.

    I was looking at the university gate at Bawdaloka Mawatha ~ saw girls coming out wearing bathroom slippers and ‘Cheetha’ gowns with two pig tails. Then I realize how much our university system fucked up. Then I realize we are breeding mother fkers in our university. Then I realize there is no intelligent in university.

    Only thing I do not agree with Siva is // universities or the education system cannot do everything// – but I agree with everything else. Education can do everything else except feeding. (Only alternative to education is Religion.) If a dog trainer can train a dog – a teacher should be able to train a human.

    I’m not complaining –just explaining problems I had (with my limited experience) with fresh graduates and none- graduates.
    I had a team of developers made with graduates and none graduates. Graduates always had difficulty understanding client need our application for them to make money ~ everything connected to each other. They did not understand that process for long time. All they had in their mind was, just because they did some work, clients must pay us ~ even that is useful to the client or not. But others – none graduates – always went extra step to satisfy the client & they understood the interdependency of everything. I expected graduates to understand how the world flow.

    After some times when I stop this operation out of frustration – I let my (foreign) clients work with my programmers directly. Guess what happen – clients choose all my none-graduated programmers and graduates went to other jobs.
    One time a graduate preformed very poorly and ask me salary increase and explain me he could not work good because he is not making enough money. None-graduate ask me for a salary increment and said he work every day till 8pm and his project is going very well so he disserve an increscent. Again that person did not understood interdependency in business. I can go on forever comparing my experience.

    My parents – both are graduates before open economy – looking at this people and advice me – ‘never get any graduates any more son; you don’t know how to manage them’. I said – ‘yes mom’.

  11. Game On permalink
    September 5, 2006 12:55 am

    I think the main problem in the Govt Vs Private sector issue is language.
    Therefore i think its safe to say this is all C.W.W. Kannagara’s fault. If he didn’t change the education system to sinhalese everyone would have had to learn english and would have had the confidence to work in the private sector. I think we should have learned sinhala as a subject but done all (or most of) the other subjects in english.
    Although we must also take into account the fact that we are sinahalese and unfortunately being lazy is also a huge part of being sinhalese!!

  12. Chaar~Max permalink
    September 5, 2006 7:38 am

    Hmm, interesting comment. No doubt that too played a big part in this whole mess we’re in. But I think the Mac Daddy award for that blunder should be given to Mr. S.W.R.D Bandaranaike. We know what a mess that caused. We’re still reaping the benifits of it.

    But I wouldn’t say that Language is the main issue. It’s a combination of their reluctance to change and lack of “Curiosity” as Sam puts it.

    I have to also disagree that, just because a Dog Trainer trains dogs, you cant expect teachers to teach everything to a Human. A Human learns from many places, the start being at home, then school, university and society. Parents are the Teachers at home, what they put as the foundation will always stick with a child. Teachers at school will teach us many things, but mainly help us learn on our own, give us the neccesary abilities for these purposes. I cant comment on Universities as I haven’t been to one (all my Degrees have been external) however I’ve heard from my Friends that it’s a mere guidence that those lecturers give you.

    All in all, I beleive society has a bigger part to play, that nobody realises, in moulding these people to venture out, and not think only within the box.

    English is an esential in Today’s World, but I wont say it is not Everything. We have hired a Grad from the Ruhuna Uni, and his English is below the Mark, but what concerns me most it not that. It’s his Attitude, Way he Presents him self, Adaptability. You can go to a class for English, but if you dont learn these things by the end of your first job, you’ll find your self stuck in the same place for a long time.

  13. Frustrated permalink
    July 13, 2009 5:28 am

    I came across this entry randomly and quite accidetaly but felt i must leave a comment coz I’m a first year at the Faculty of Arts in a local uni.

    Trust me the system is so fucked up. I know that university education means learning on your own and not being spoon fed every little detail into your head by the lecturer but what I’m saying is that students who do English Medium get into deep shit as soon as the second semester of the first year starts. We find out to our horror and dismay that the subjects chosen by us to study in that particular semester will not be taught in English medium but we would have laboriously translate whatever notes we find useful into english while the lecturer continues in sinhala. And ofcourse refer books which is normal but in our case our lives almost totally depend upon it because we have no other source in English (minus the net) to look up notes.

    We have discussed this matter endlessly with anyone and everyone relevant but according to the Dean’s decision and/or the particular Department’s decision, only discussion classes will be held in English while the normal lecture would continue in Sinhala getting increasingly harder to translate by the minute as the subject matter gets more and more complicated.

    This happens they say because it’s unfair for the majority of Sinhala medium students to have a lecture who lecturs both in English and Sinhala athe same lecture time. Now these lecturers put up slides typed in English and explain relevant information in both languages which we found to be pretty awesome given our situation but that too did not last long because the majority had complained about these lectures.

    I think this situation only occurs in Arts Faculties because science/med/engineering subjects are anyway done in English and even if they are not, certainly the needs of English medium students who study those subjects I guess are respected in all unis.

    What I’m saying is that without receiving high quality university standard education, and without being exposed to English which is amust today, how on earth are these graduates one going to find jobs? how on earth would a system with such narrow minded perspectives produce well-balanced intellects? The sinhala medium students always are very skeptical about the English medium students. They always looks at us like we are the weirdos, the aliens invading a place where mother tounge should reign supremacy. They always think the English medium students are superficial, stuck up and proud, just because they study in that medium.How on earth will these people ever get into the private sector with this mentality? They will be the ones entering the government sectr which is clearly stagnating without fresh ideas and people with bilingual communication skills

    I could go on forever about this but i think I’ve typed a rather long (and maybe pointless) reply to your blog entry. If anyone bothered to read this to the end and think about what I’ve tried to get through to people fr aleast a minute, thanks!

  14. Frustrated permalink
    July 13, 2009 5:32 am

    lol I’m sorry i have made some small errors in spelling and grammar in my frustration but hope you guys would get what I’m saying anyway

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