Wednesday, 16 November 2011

The choice of a career

Education system in Mauritius, as most of you might already be aware, consists mainly of 3 phases : primary, secondary and tertiary. The primary cycle lasts for 6 years having a major exams at its end, in order to obtain a seat in a decent college. The secondary level lasts 7 years, having tow major exams: School Certificate and higher School Certificate. If a student has been successful in his HSC exams, he will hence be eligible for a seat at a university, whether in the country or abroad. Hence university is the last phase of an education cycle, that is tertiary level.

The choice of a career in Mauritius is really a hectic path for most of the students. Most of the careers are already starting to shape as the student enters the fourth year of the secondary level, whereby they are asked to choose the side they will be opting for during the later years of college. These sides consist mostly of science, arts, technical and economics. That's the first screening.

After having gone through the various stages of the secondary level and successfully cleared out the HSC exams, the major hinder in the choice of a career arises. Well, you are already eligible for a seat at any university and you just need to choose the career you want, it sounds simple. Yet it is not. There are various considerations that you will need while making your choice. These include first and foremost your financial position. You should also ponder about the possibility of moving abroad or studying inland. Thereafter, you should ensure that you have enough points to qualify for that course. The prospect of actually landing a job after the completion of your undergraduate should not be neglected.

In all these processes, sometimes you tend to rely on the advice on other people's advice. Well, the equation is simple - its all what you want to do with your career, not what others would like you to do. Can an office dealing with career guidance be helpful in this situation? For sure not! These officers are just lazying off in their warm seat, and they would give a penny of thought to your career.The best thing to do is to read and document maximum possible in each and every career opportunities that will lie ahead of you.

Many times, just it happened with me, the choice of your career would eventually be your own ultimate decision. Sometimes I tend to regret the choice of my course since I had so much interests in other fields. But these particular fields was not reachable for numerous factors to me. It has been challenging through and through to stick to my decision for my career. When I think about it now, I think it could have never been better.

Yes, it has never been easy for me to choose my subjects. Yes, it was never easy for me to choose the course I wanted to do at university. However, it is only when putting into practice whatever you have learnt throughout all these years, that you started to finally liking it. Throughout the past 5 months, I could never have asked for better to have an internship on a construction site of a power station in Mauritius. It is once in a lifetime opportunity.

However, it did once again the flaws of the education system in Mauritius, this time at tertiary level. All engineering subjects are situation oriented subjects, meaning it is of prime importance to understand, visualize and project all situations in practical applications. Hence, when working in a construction site, it is useful to be knowledgeable of all engineering terms in local languages being spoken. Therefore, the practical aspect of all taught subjects at university level is not really put into limelight. It has been an enormous challenge. Moreover, it is essential to understand the importance of time frame and deadlines. Hence, for every task allocated, planning and timing of work is importance, which is another aspect not essentially highlighted during university days.

On a conclusive point, I am personally very much for the competitive edge of the educational system. I sincerely believe, that for an individual to progress, it is important that there is a level of competition in our education system. The tricky part of this issue is where to fit in the competition or the rat race. Is CPE suitable for children at 11 years old? Since our only resources are our manpower, it is important to ensure the children are competitive at the earliest age possible and hence moulding them in such a way to face the competitive edge of the job market so far.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Elections at UoM

Ever since I have joined UoM, the students' union elections have always been a major event through out the academic calendar. Well, as fresher in my first year, it was obviously an exciting event since you get to know a lot of seniors and enjoy an unusual high degree of attention from them. Obviously, we were not that much knowledgeable of the tactics adopted by election parties within the campus to gain votes. Moreover, I did not care too much why there was so much fuss about elections or why we were being targeted. I only thought that as long there were outings, parties or any kind of events, life at university was worth living then.

As expected, the first elections turned out to be a very memorable event, if not to say one of the biggest highlight of my first year at university. And the party we "worked" so hard towards won.. As it happened,  when I went to my second year of university, I was approached to stand as Faculty Representative for  the Faculty of Engineering. Well, it was not an idea that entertained me a lot to be honest. I was quite concerned by the amount of time to be devoted to the campaigns as well as the costs. Well, elections at UoM do cost hell a lot. Nevertheless, I let myself being convinced by certain people I trust and decided to stand as candidate. Was i gambling my future? Certainly not! I had precise and honest ideas to materialize for my faculty. It was a huge challenge for me to convince the students of the biggest faculty on the campus to vote for me, and to top it all, I had 2 weeks to do that. Despite my efforts,which was quite moderate to other candidates, I lost.. But i gained huge knowledge out of all this circus, which then started to make me drift out of this selfish circle.

It is only when you formed part of this inner circle that you started to realize then that were was no difference between national and university politics.. All of them do it for their own motive. There was not real motivation to work for the students, apart mainly trying to "loot" the funds generated for the Students' Union. Using students of first year was a common tactics since generations as students in second, third or fourth year have already been acquainted to the running of the Student's Union Office.. I wonder why I never tried to understand the source of budget of an election party during a campaign period. 

Were the "investors" doing it for the benefit of the student, or for their own motive? And how would they recover their investment? Would it be through those various committees that they would be sitting on as representative of students? Or do they invest in these elections just to obtain one of these posts? A parallel can be drawn hence to the general elections in the country. Close people to the ruling party obtain high commissioner post or chairman of the various state institutions though out the country.. Well, as it seems, the leaders in the country are already inspiring the young "leaders" at the university. I always wondered why not a proper selection of the most suitable candidates for those various committees were never carried out.. Arrete protez pti copains! :S

Another fact that made me disgust elections at UoM was the presence of "election gods", or simply previously elected students on the students' union. As it seemed, they always had a huge hand in the selection of the candidates for "their" party. They would still do ground campaigning for the beloved candidates. The best out of all, develop sick tactics in order to defeat opposing parties. Well well well, i guess university students are no more babies to babysit them. Let them face the challenges and consequences on their own. Then they will be able to manage the office of the student union on their own. your time at the campus is gone buddy, just learn to let it go.

Hopefully, the next management team of the Students' Union would be able to clean up the office somewhat, not make it a den for their own, a place without any rules. Maybe they should adopt one of the most hilarious points I have ever heard of during my time at university, replacing the office door by a transparent one. It might not be such a bad idea after all. Then the students would realize what those people are really upto in the office, working or just making it a casino or a dating place..

The only advice I could give to freshers, is to prove that they are grown-up,mature people that could differentiate between the right and the wrong. Its simply putting the right people at the right place..! :)


Since early childhood, I guess football has always formed an integral part of my life. Well, it is not a surprise when you consider that football is one of the most favorite sport in the country. I still remember, when I was really young, about 4-5 years old, how my dad used to take me to football matches. Well, my dad was a great goalkeeper during his career, and a good volley-ball player as well. I will never forget one day when I went to watch a football match at Anjalay Stadium, the match ended up in a general riot.. We had to run through people who were rioting.. I was freaking afraid at that moment..So we had to squeeze among people causing trouble,running for life.. I should admit it was quite exciting!

The more I think about this sport, or maybe the love for sport in general within our family, I think it has all rooted from my late grandfather. He had a vivid interests for all kind of sports and whenever there was any live broadcast on the national TV, he was always the first one to be in front of the TV set. Another good memory related to football was the world cup in Japan/South Korea in 2002. Due to the time difference between these 2 countries and Mauritius, the first football match started as from 9am here and the last one would start at 17.15 pm. At times, there were 4 football matches in a row. It was an absolute no-misser from all of us. Me, my cousin, dad and my uncles would all barge into my grandpa's room and would squat there whole day.. And we had delicious cookies prepared by my grandma.. I should admit I miss both of them a lot now..