Blogbox | #IWouldChange

Doubly isolated

By - 18.02.2022

Outdated education system kills the dreams of the youth.

The measure of my love for Kosovo is the measure of how much I want to eliminate the problems we face every day. As a young woman who is slowly entering her professional life, choosing a field of study has been extremely difficult given that the programs I am most interested in are not offered in Kosovo.

Interested in the field of technology as I am, I’ve noticed that some pretty important sectors in the field have not yet managed to catch the attention of Kosovo’s institutes of higher education. Given this, I was forced to look for opportunities abroad.

This decision comes with many sacrifices. You have to leave your family and social circle and go to places where adjustment can be difficult. You have to spend great amounts of money just to pursue your studies.

Weighing these options –– either choosing the field I want and making sacrifices or staying in Kosovo to study something not entirely suited to my dreams –– I decided to stay here and chose Web and Mobile Computing, which at least comes close to my desired field of study, Data Science and Machine Learning.

And I know that I’m not the only one to find themselves in this position. I know many young people who have either had to make the sacrifice and move to another country, or have had to give up their dreams and study in Kosovo.

Not everyone has the freedom to choose. It is impossible for many to go to other countries. The costs are simply too high. Giving up on one’s academic and professional dreams is often the only option. This situation hampers young people and stifles their potential. This is one thing I would like to see changed in Kosovo.

An updated education system

The education system needs to receive more attention as soon as possible, especially higher education. Existing programs need to be reviewed and new programs should be added, especially in fields that are emerging worldwide but are still unknown to us.

At the same time, younger generations should be encouraged to teach in technology-related fields as there is a lack of staff equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to give lectures in these new programs and fields. Also, current teachers should partake in specialized training in order to update their knowledge –– this is essential as technology is constantly evolving.

Another issue that often comes as a result of not addressing the challenges I mentioned above is the lack of development of the labor market, especially in the field of technology.

Thus, many young people, instead of being encouraged, are discouraged from studying in emerging fields that haven’t yet become fully embraced in Kosovo and these people will most likely find it difficult to get jobs and apply their knowledge. In such conditions, many young people specialize in fields they don’t want in order to try to secure a job for the future.

On top of the economic difficulties and other worries, the problem of obtaining visas makes things especially difficult.

At the same time, young people can emigrate to develop the careers they want –– a process that causes countless difficulties. In an already isolated country, the process for Kosovar citizens to find and pursue academic training abroad is many times more difficult than for citizens of other countries. On top of the economic difficulties and other worries, the problem of obtaining visas makes things especially difficult.

Some have the opportunity for training, workshops and other various programs outside of Kosovo, which can fill the gaps currently existing in the formal education system. But to participate in these initiatives we have to go through the tedious and expensive process of obtaining a visa. The long and costly process necessary to attain these visas is almost reason enough not to consider these opportunities for professional growth at all. As a result, we end up doubly isolated.

If the government, and especially the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, were to address some of these concerns, it would make life easier for many Kosovar citizens. If solutions were more readily available, young people would not need to give up on the career path they think is ideal for them and we would not be forced to give up our dreams.

Feature image: Arrita Katona / K2.0.