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Most of Kabul Universities students losing interest in study

Most of Kabul Universities students losing interest in study

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Apr 16, 2018 - 18:54

KABUL (Pajhwok): Three among every five students of the Kabul University lose interest in studies in the middle of their time on the campus and this situation is blamed on “teaching method” and “lack of hope for jobs in future,” Pajhwok Afghan News has learnt.

Six out of 10 students who lose interest in studies blame “flaws” in the teaching method, three blame pessimism for jobs, and the remaining cite other factors that lead to the decline in their interest in lessons.

According to Pajhwok findings, the proportion of students who lose interest in studies is three percent up in state run universities compared to private universities. Among men the decline of interest in lessons is two percent higher compared to women.

Pajhwok findings show university students lose interest in lessons at the state-run universities due to the traditional method of teaching while in private universities the students keep distance from their education career due to pessimism for jobs in future.

Complete Report:

Pajhwok Afghan News held conversation with around 100 students of 4th year at public universities and private universities. In addition, individuals who recently graduated from universities were contacted between March 23 and April 7.

Public Universities --- Kabul Medical University, Kabul University, Polytechnic University, Education University ---- while the private universities covered in this report were Ibni Sena, Kateb, Aryana, Istiqlal, Bakhtar, Khatamunabean, Dunya, Rabia Balkhi, Rana, Fanos, Kaohar Shad Begam, Kardan and Mashal.

Those interviewed comprised 41 percent of women and girls and 56 percent of them were chosen from state-run universities --- accidently.

Decline of interest in lessons:

The results of this survey show that more than half of the university students lose interest in studies at a time when the interest of 40 percent students in studies has increased.

Mohammad Mobin, a 7th semester student of economic faculty, said his interest in studies was growing with each passing day. He said his personality positively changed compared what he was three years back and he was upbeat about.

Besides his own studies, Mobin also took part in other short courses provided by the university free of cost. He added participation in leadership development, proposal writing and other courses had increased his interest in studies.

More students do not agree with Mobin’s views

Lemah Afshed, who graduated from Journalism Faculty in 2017, said finding her way to the Kabul University was her life’s only goal but after coming to the university she lost interest in the academic place.

“The first and second years were good, the hope was alive, but after the third year everybody on the campus started losing that hope due to the way they are taught. We though the chapters we had learned for passing exams may mot help us in practical field because most of the materials used to teach us are outdated and not applicable in the current time.”

Reasons behind declining interest in studies

Of every 10 students who lose interest in studies during educational career, six blame it on “flaws” in the teaching method, three pessimism for jobs and the remaining cite other factors that lead to the decline in their interest in attending classes.

Eleven percent of the interviewed persons provided different views regarding losing interest in university lessons as the importance of state run universities compared to the private ones.

Business factor in private universities, decline in interest with particular discipline, economic problems, insecurity and cultural restrictions were among issues cited by private university students about the decline in their interest in study.

Fareha, an economic faculty student at one of the private universities, said cultural restrictions were one among many problems that prevented girls growing their interest in studies. According to Fareha, some people held negative views regarding girls who went to universities.

She did not want to name her university and said: “Boys harass girls under different names and some men believe girls who go university and sit and talk with stranger boys is no more protected and lost her fortune.”

Complain against teaching method:

Lema Afshed, who graduated from Kabul University Journalism Faculty, is among the students who term the teaching method as one of the reasons behind the declining interest of students in studies.

“My ideology changed 90 percent due to the university environment not due to university’s lessons,” she said.

She added: “The low quality and low standard of teaching methods, imposition of the elite system, slavery type of relationship between teachers and students, teaching materials which are of low quality cannot answer the demands of today’s youth.”

She said during her time in university she studied a subject on Media Techniques in one of her semesters. In this subject Afshed said she could just learn the manner of Gutenberg’s typography while currently everything had become digital.

Mohammad Rashid, student of eighth semester of economic faculty from one of the private universities, said he would not name his university.

 “Most of our former teachers have left job and the new teachers with their new methods have hurt in interest in lessons.”

He added some materials used to teach them lesions had been copied from books and the internet, “There is no innovation, most of the time the lessons are theoretical, little practical work is done and litter opportunity is offered for group studies.”  

Abdul Qahar Jawad, journalism lecturer at Kabul University, said teaching materials were being monitored by the Higher Education ministry, but they were still old.

He said teaching method, curriculum and teaching materials could impact a student’s interest in lessons.

“The entry test for government universities is like a lottery because each applicant is given option to choosing five fields; but most of the candidates fail to succeed in their first or second choice, which is another issue that declines a student’s interest,” he said.

Jawad stressed on student-centered teaching and giving only two choices (social sciences and natural sciences) to an applicant in entry test.

Categorizing subject choices into two parts would give an applicant the chance to succeed in his or her interest field.

The lecturer that semester exams should be strictly taken as well as private universities should be given more credibility to motivate their students.

MoPH spokesperson Arifa Paikar, talking about students’ complaints about the teaching method, said a shortage of lecturers and teaching materials in the past made lecturers to behave like dictators, an issue that discouraged students.

But current teaching method is both student and lecturer-centric amid efforts to make the teaching method completely student-centric.

Efforts are underway over the past four months to review the nature of credit system implementation and all problems the students are complaining about would be resolved in near future, Paikar added.

Lack of hope for jobs

Mariam, a student of construction engineering at Mashal Private University, said she was hopeless because most of her fellow could not find jobs after their graduation.

She said relationship was important than qualification to land a job. “Some organs prefer work experience, which is impossible for a new graduate.”

Besides security issues in the country, such problems had forced a large number of educated youth to leave their country over the last few years, Mariam added.

Abdul Qahar Jawad also said uncertainty, joblessness and the deteriorating security situation were reasons students were to confused and the government should take practical steps for dealing with these problems.

The MoPH spokesperson said the ministry had the plan to launch internship programs for students in cooperation with different organs, a facility that would help them to find jobs after graduation.

Besides offering peace proposal to the Taliban, the government recently said it also plans to improve security situation and create job opportunities for people in the country.

Level of discouragement

Men are more discouraged about their lessons compared to women and in general, the interest in lessons in government universities is higher compared to the private universities.

Pajhwok findings show six of each 10 male students and five among each 10 female students say their interest in lessons reduced in later semesters compared to initial semesters.

Ahmad Ali Iqbal, a student of curative medical in Kateb Private University, said he was previously studying in Kabul University. Teaching method and interaction between lecturers and students in private universities was better compared to government universities, he added.

 “Not very long ago, I conducted a survey in Kabul Medical University and found that many students were complaining about the behavior of lecturers there, the students in the survey said that the lecturers behave like an enemy with their pupils, but lecturers in private universities behave far better and friendly as I personally experienced it,” he said.

Abdul Qahar Jawad said one reason students complained less about teaching methods in private universities was hard efforts of lecturers there. He said private teachers worked hard to attract students because they feared losing jobs if students started complaining.

He said lecturers in government universities had job protection and even the president had no authority to fire any of them without a credible reason.

 

 “So it is clear that lecturers in government universities have more control on teaching method which is a reason students are discouraged,” he said.

Dr. Shafay Naimi, head of Private Universities Union, also said the private sector was more customer-oriented and it was trying to obtain customers’ satisfaction.

Arifa Paikar, Ministry of Higher Education spokesperson, said confirmed the mentioned problems but said the ministry had plans to motivate students in both private and government universities and all lecturers would follow a student-centric learning method.

Difference in of discouragement in universities

Frozan, who graduated a year ago from psychology faculty of Kabul University, said, “Kabul University is popular and is more credible from the prospect of certification, which is good, but the education quality is far better in a number of private universities compared to Kabul University”

Mohammad Ilham Qais, who graduated in 2017 from political science faculty of Rana Private University, was satisfied with the teaching method of the university but said it had no internship programs for students.

He said followed his lessons with little interest because government organs preferred to government universities’ certificates over private universities ones.

However, Private Universities Union head said certificates of private universities were also credible but activism of such institutes was a new experience in Afghanistan therefore students were concerned about it.

About hopelessness of students in finding jobs, he said the union tried to develop programs for new graduates of private universities for internship in different organs.

The higher education ministry also said there was no difference in credibility of private and government universities.

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