Muscat: With admission process for higher education institutions on, citizens are urging authorities to start courses that are suitable for the job market.
Speaking to Al Shabiba, a sister publication of Times of Oman, Mohammad Rashid Al Qanoobi, chairman of the Education Committee of the Shura Council, said, "We appreciate the efforts of the government in providing quality higher education.
However, we think there are not enough courses that complement the need of the labour market. We are witnessing a big demand for some majors and no takers for others."
Giving an example, he said, "We have noticed that the first batch of graduates from the Colleges of Applied Sciences have not yet found jobs. We notice that the focus of the labour market is on engineers. We hope the labour market accommodates all the other graduates and provides them with job opportunities and training in the private sector."
He also called for cooperation between Ministry of Higher Education, the private sector and its establishments.
Dr Al Khatab Al Hinai, chairman of the Education Committee in the State Council told Al Shabiba that the government attaches great importance to raising the capacity of institutions and finding job opportunities for its graduates.
"While there is a rise in number of institutions and graduates, there is no database that displays the requirements of the Omani job market. There is also lack of information about the skills needed for a specific role. This can prove a challenge for fresh graduates," he said.
Students often end up doing major courses in which they are not interested and do purely because of parental pressure.
Though institutions of higher education are now trying to increase the focus on the practical aspect of the courses, another problem the students face is the spotlight on the "theory" aspect.
There are others who have urged students to choose wisely.
Maram Al Raisi, a student who was admitted to the Faculty of Economics and Political Science in Sultan Qaboos University, stressed the need for students to choose their majors sensibly since it would affect their career.
"Political science wasn't my first choice, even though as a child I liked to do research with political science. Through my parents' support, I decided to take major in political science. I was surprised that many people do not know of this major. I wonder why some people don't promote it. Yes, the labour market will need people specialising in this major since very few people study it," she said.
Jawaher Al Maamari, a student of the Faculty of Economics and Political Science, SQU, stressed the need to understand the requirements of the labour market.
"I chose this major because I was interested in it. Students should take decision on the needs of the market and choose colleges best suited for the major," she said.