German economist says business edu needs makeover

KARACHI, July 29: Basic education needs to be redefined in Pakistan in order to acquire quality business graduates. Technical intelligence, crucial in the competitive world market, is severely lacking in business administrators in this country. These comments were made by Prof. Dr Diether Gebert, a German economist, while talking to us on Saturday.

Dr Gebert blamed the lack of technical education in Pakistani students for the reason they were not able to succeed in highly competitive job markets. "Basically, the fault is in the education system, from top to bottom. Students graduate from Pakistan hardly learning anything from their academic courses." Dr Gebert is in Karachi as a visiting professor for Dadabhoy Institute of Higher Education (DIHE).

An MBA in the Western commercial market is expected to have technical knowledge, and this has been included in the educational curriculum of almost all European countries. But Pakistani students only obtain an academic training, having no experience in technical matters. "An MBA needs to have business knowledge of marketing as well as of the mechanical configuration of the machine. It is necessary for better marketing presentations." According to Dr Gebert, it is in this area that Pakistani graduates fail in the world market.

He also criticized the admission criteria of business institutes. According to him, the selection process needs to become more stringent, so that only the best students could get a chance for business education. "The Seoul University of Business Studies enrolls only the top one percent of the students after conducting a nationwide test. Its graduates are now leading economists all over the world." Dr Gebert believes that Pakistani students will provide better results in the international market if the business institutes become more selective.

Dr Gebert also emphasized the role teachers' play in molding students into successful business graduates. "A teacher is good only when he can teach his own innovated knowledge after practical evaluation. He should not deliver a memorized lesson to the students." Pakistani institutions have a number of qualified faculty members, but many of them, after becoming teachers, stop attempting to study new ideas or modifying existing rules. To prevent this trend, Dr Gebert believes that the teachers' contract system should be revised. "A teacher should be appointed for five years under the condition of completing his PhD within this period. This will force the teachers to move ahead towards innovation, and encourage them to create new concepts in the field of education instead of merely memorizing knowledge." He also states that the teachers should be expected to publish their research work in at least one international journal as part of their contract.

Dr Gebert applauded the DIHE for introducing courses combining business with medicine and engineering. "The DIHE is likely to bring a change in the field of business education in this society. It's idea of a new campus to introduce courses combining all three aspects of science - this is what the western society demands in a graduate." Daily times

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