Global pattern indicates that heavy industries always provide more income to
the employees and to the countries in general compared to livestock, fisheries
and agriculture sectors. Consequently, developed countries always concentrate
on heavy and technology based industries (ADB, 2007).
This either allows or forces the developing countries to work with the sectors
that are left by the industrialised countries. Realising this realities and
facts, many developing countries are mainly involved in agriculture, livestock
and small manufacturing industries. This helps the countries to have some kind
of employment for their people with a very indispensable income to sustain (ADB,
2012). Some of the developing countries are also trying to explore the avenues
of tourism using their nature beauty. However, life remains in hardship in developing
countries with continuous indentation since global competition in living standards;
increasing need to access the products manufactured by industrialised countries
and some other factors of globalisation help the industrialised countries to
be placed in better position (Alam, 2009). While in
developing countries, social elites can try to cope up their life with modern
days, majority people who involved with the slower industries are just breathing
to die (Alam et al., 2012).
Maldives is a country where huge economic disparities exist amongst social
elites and common people (Adam, 2006). The countrys
economy is mainly depended on fisheries sector with a good supplementary from
tourism sector. However, a bulk amount of income from tourism sector does not
stay in the country since the ownership of the sector is mainly controlled by
foreign counterparts (Alam et al., 2012). Even
though, fisheries sector contributes a greater income and huge employment, the
marginal fishermen are not benefited because most of these incomes are used
by the social elites and business personnel through a diplomatic share to the
income (Alam et al., 2012). Apparently data
show that social elites and business personnel also significantly contribute
towards GDP. This is theoretically true but virtually they are just only dominant
shareholders of the income as sleeping partners (Alam et
al., 2012). So it is mainly the income from fisheries and tourism sectors
that are shared amongst employees, politicians, civil servants and social elites.
It is also proven that the productivity of these fishermen would be increased
if they would have received better training (Birdsall, 1993;
Alam et al., 2012). However, education and training
would definitely help them to understand their rights, their participation in
the society and with the work place (Castely, 2005).
Moreover, this will help them to understand how to balance between income and
expenditure in order to have a better life in the society and to provide a better
prospect for next generation (Chen, 2010). This short
communication research letter will explore either the Vocational and Technical
Education (VET) would help the sector to grow more institutionally with a better
assurance of the rights of fishermen and their participation in social and modern
GLOBAL CIRCUMSTANCE AND RESEARCH ISSUE
Fisheries, livestock and agriculture sectors always provide slower economic
growth compared to industrializing and manufacturing sectors (DNP,
2011). Consequently, developed countries are more attentive in establishing
and fostering the sectors that can offer faster economic gain (Alam,
2009). This situation forces the developing and underdeveloped countries
to work in an area that is unattended by the developed countries (Alam
et al., 2009). Slow income generation of the sectors related to livestock
and agriculture is a man-made concept rather a natural one (Inception
Report, 2007). In a diplomatic way, developed countries have been able to
give an idea to the globe that skills, training and education needed for the
sectors related to livestock and agriculture are less worthy compared to the
sectors related to technology, manufacturing and other industries (Kaplan
and Celik, 2008). However, the pragmatic truth is that the fulfilment of
the demand of the basic and fundamental needs of human always depends on the
products that are produced through the sectors related to agriculture and livestock.
It is thus a fair assumption that globally, customers are willing to pay more
for the fashionable items compared to the basic and fundamental goods and rights
(Middlehurst and Woodfield, 2004). On the other hand,
argument can be made saying that within the global demand and supply theory,
products procured by the sectors related to livestock and agriculture are more
readily available than the products manufactured through other industries. If
this is the fact; while there would be a crisis of products procured by the
sectors related to livestock and agriculture, customer would pay more for these
products by sacrificing and lowering the budgets for the products manufactured
through other industries. However, making crisis in order to receive a global
proper value and wages for the products produced by the sectors related to livestock
and agriculture is not humanitarianly accepted attitude (Rabby
et al., 2011a; Alam et al., 2012).
A few scholars advocate that increasing the global price for the products produced
by sectors related to livestock and agriculture would bring an inclusive disaster
worldwide. However, the fact is not innocently true because providing right
values to those products will provide economic empowerment to the producing
countries which may help to reduce the economic disparities exist amongst countries
based on industrialised economy and agro and livestock economy.
While international communities accepts the holistic view for marketing and demand and supply concept for the products produced by the sectors related to livestock and agriculture, the products manufactured by the manufacturing and technology based industries enjoy the concept of market driven theory. Making purported up-gradation and new stylish products along with ingeniously marketing strategy, sectors related to industrialising and manufacturing earn adequate amount providing a larger economic growth to the country.
In exchange of a price of millions of products produced through hard labour
and expending a notably amount of time by the sector related to livestock and
agriculture, a small piece of product manufactured by heavy and technology based
industry with investing small amount of time can always not be purchased. This
is how in the global competition, a weaker country becomes the weakest or heavily
weaker day by day (Alam et al., 2012; Rabby
et al., 2011b).
The economy of a developing country also follows the global pattern where heavy
industries and other sectors enjoy more economic liberty but the sectors related
to livestock and agriculture pass hardship sacrificing their blood (Nargis
and Hossain, 2006). While developed countries explore the avenues to discover
a way to have competitive low-priced labour countries to supply their daily
needs, countries also ensure a balance income amongst different professionals
(Scoones, 1998). It is thus no wonder to see that in
spite of a proper balancing taxation system in place of a developed country,
the earning of a plumber and medical professional are almost the same. It is
now time to find a way to provide a global and local benefit for those who are
involved with the sectors related to livestock and agriculture (Alam
et al., 2009). Unless and until, this is fulfilled, the works for
global development undertaken the UN and other voluntary bodies are just a shouting
with bubble but not the real pragmatic.
This is short communication research paper which aims at generating a discourse through the analysis of secondary data and intellectual debates. In order of obtain information, a number of official web sites of Maldives government, scholarly sites hosted by different organisation and blog sites are browsed. Moreover, in order to understand economic development, a number of works of conducted UN bodies (i.e., UNDP, UNICEF and UNESCO) are used. Moreover, data received through a fieldwork of two weeks also supplements. Many of the arguments are also made through the analysis of the data received through the fieldwork.
Qualitative methods were used that allowed interviewees to express their views in a free and personal way, giving as much prominence as possible to their thematic associations.
Semi-structured interviews by qualitative approach were held with:
||Key personnel at the Ministry of Education in Maldives
||Personnel having work experiences with the regulatory bodies
of fisheries sector
||Key personnel at the schools located in different Islands
||Teachers at the schools located in different Islands
||Social elites with reputations as educators, politics and
||Family members of fishermen
Other data was observation and document review. The study will also concentrate on the use of data collected from document review and observation.
HISTORICAL TREND IN FISHING IN MALDIVES
Fishing in Maldives is as old as starting point of living of inhabitants in
the Islands of Maldives. With the starting of living, people were involved in
fishing as this was merely a food item to be consumed in an Island life (UNDP,
2009). Latter, fish was the main supply of food with a little nutritious
supplement from other sources. With the initial stage, people did not use any
kind of tools, weapons and boats for the purpose of fishing. Walking towards
the seashore, people caught the fishes which they used for their daily needs
of food. Assumption and public discussion assert that during the British colonisation,
local people of Islands are forced to be involved in fishing by the ruling elites
for the commercial benefits. Fishermen involved in fishing took life risk for
fishing for negligence amount of wages to be paid (World
Bank, 2002). That was the time; fisheries sector in Maldives was opened
as a sector for commercial benefit through export. However, local people and
fishermen were not benefited financially except to add some additional items
to their daily meals. With the help of State Import and Export Process
undertaken by British chastisement while local Maldivians were able to have
a very little amount of vegetables and rice alongside main meal of fish, British
governors and administrators lived mainly in Gan1
enjoy a life that ensures a contemporary global modern life in Maldives. It
is thus no wonder to see Gan as an ancient development area.
British colonial development was the initial stage of the development of fishing and this informal industry in Maldives although it did not benefit the local Maldivian hugely except giving them some skills, knowledge and knowing the potential of it. The ideas of capitalism and cultivating the business of catalyst have always been the part of the fisheries sector of Maldives. Fisheries sector of Maldives is yet to be exempted from this influence.
Rearing of fish and cultivation of fish are not the part of business of fisheries
sector in Maldives. Fishes are god gifted assets to Maldives. So
fishing, fish preservation, making fish products and marketing of them are the
core activities of fisheries sector in Maldives.
CURRENT SITUATION IN FISHING IN MALDIVES
Initially fishing was limited to seashore walking; latter small boats were
used for reef- fishing with some basic fishing tools. With a gradual expansion
of the sector and its introduction and expansion towards latest technology and
equipment, fishing in deep sea has become a finger tips to Maldivian fishermen.
Due to lack of facilities, earlier fishermen were unable to travel to deep sea
and spend days in the sea for fishing. Things have changed dramatically. Fisheries
sector is technologically well equipped especially fishing vessel. However,
to hunt fishes, fishermen in Maldives still love to follow their traditional
methods as they see these are more successful and purposeful than globally accepted
methods. However, local methods of fishing are also not free from a number of
errors, constraints and faults.
The main problems and constraints with the Maldivian fisheries sector are not technical or technological. The problems and constraints are mainly handling with the social disparity and making economic balancing. However, there are still significant rooms for the development in area technical or technological of fisheries sector. Before making an effort to understand and to offer the resolution, the following section maps the problems and constraints experiencing within the sector.
PROBLEMS AND CONSTRAINTS EXPERIENCING WITHIN THE SECTOR
Informal employment and Social recognition: In order to join with employment of fisheries sector, no formal education and training are required. So this profession is not socially valued much. Majority portion of the professionals involved with this sector may be technically sound to undertake the job but suffer with an identity crisis. This kind of identity crisis always hinders them to be a responsible citizen for the society.
Another picture is that since fisheries sector provides a better income, many people with education having a full time job with the public sector work with the fisheries sector in parallel as capitalist to accelerate their income. This kind of part time involvement not only creates problem to the place where they work full time, but also creates huge cumbersome in the fisheries sector as their cunning attitude always deprives the rights of uneducated fishermen.
Capitalist: This is an informal sector running without a control from the government. In order to run as such sector, huge investment is required. Uneducated fishermen neither have that much of fund to be invested nor have the adequate knowledge to manage the fund. With this scope, opportunist capitalists are running the business paying a very hand to mouth wage to the fishermen.
Wages and obligation: Since no formal education, training and skills
are needed to join with the labour forces. Many join with the sector without
understanding the reality of social and decent citizenship. Most of the fishermen
are trained by themselves after engaging with the jobs. So an informal workplace
learning and apprenticeship have been helping them to learn how to implement
the job but this does not necessarily provide understanding on health and safety
issues, labour rights, work environment and other necessary issues required
for work, daily and social life (MOPND, 2006a).
Employment of this sector is purely informal. There is no obligation to sign a contract. No minimum wages are determined. Moreover, within the current scope, there is no way of evaluating novice, semi-skilled, skilled and professional fishermen. So no salary packages are determined focusing on knowledge and skills parameter.
Since there is no formal contract made, thus both the employers and employees create unstable situations to take the advantages when they can. It is observed that after earning an amount needed to survive for few days, many fishermen stop going to job. This kind of unemployed staying home also creates significant problem in family and conjugal life resulting multiple marriage or illegal affaires.
Climate change and impacts on environment: Most of the people involved
with the sector are not well aware of climate change and its impact on environment.
A number of stages and activities carried out by this sector have direct impact
on climate change. Well aware and educated working force may help to reduce
the problems of climate change and its impact on environment. Ignorance would
bring huge danger and would cost a lot in future (Al-Amin
et al., 2012).
Lack of knowledge on technical issues: Most of the work force lack knowledge in a number of technical areas such as fish production cycle, right fishing season, right fishing areas, right fishes to catch and maintenance of fishing vessel and sea life. Without having as such knowledge, harvesting the crops of god-gifted asset will make the nation hopeless while nothing would be left to harvest in future.
VET FOR FURTHER DEVELOPMENT AND SOLVING THE CONSTRAINTS
Discussion made in the earlier section confirms that many of them are human-made
social problems which are controlled and guided by the culture and tradition.
Changing the culture and tradition is not a simple task. However, no better
tools than awareness are found to bring changes in culture and social constraints.
It is well evident that education makes the community well aware about the self-ownership,
self-rightness. However, evidence also confirms that education as commodity
may also provide an understanding on self-ownership, awareness on self-rights
and other issues needed for social survival without assuring a knowledge driven
and thirstiness individual but supplying a cunning one to the community (MOE,
2007). Surely, a community needs its massive people to be educated and trained
for implementing the assigned task properly in order to construct the society
(MOE, 2007). Moreover, they also need to understand the
meaning of self-ownership, awareness on self-rights and other issues needed
for social survival without harming others and the society as a whole (MOE,
2010). Of course, only a little portion of the population of a society needs
to be highly and exclusively knowledge driven. However, in any cost, society
does want to have a cunning individual (Chauhan, 2008).
Many developed countries introduced VET for the professionals. This helps them in a number of ways:
||Accessing and determining the skills level of a professional
||Determining the salary packages in the alignment of skills
||Making both ethically and contractually obliged to the profession
||Understanding the man power demand and supply trend
||Future direction of manpower
||Guidance and regulatory control to protect misuse
STRATEGIC PLAN AND POLICY
Arguments may convince that providing this kind of training may increase the
productivity of an individual fisherman which would ultimately provide a higher
sharing towards GDP of this sector (MOPND, 2006b). This
also may help to reduce gap of income amongst different professionals. However,
as the way forward to direct policy makers, a few issues need to be revisited
with a rigorous consultation before making policy and regulatory framework (MOPND,
2006a). The issues are:
||Does Maldives need some specialized schools exclusively for
this kind of training?
||What could be the course and curricula and how will they be
||How will this programme be incorporated into the existing
||How to encourage the students to be attentive in such programme?
||Where to find the qualified competent instructors?
||What will be the mode and module of theory and practical sessions?
||What will be the commencing grade for this training?
Answering all these questions may need a wider consultation and discussion with an in-depth analysis of a huge amount of government documents in connection with economic, public and education policies. As and when necessary, government should initiate micro researches with an engagement of competent researchers from various fields (i.e., economics, education, public policy) before drawing policy and regulatory measures. However, with regard to the first issue, we argue that given the geographical pattern of Maldives, this training needs to be a part of the secondary school provision in order to ensure that all the pre-mature graduates of different regions are covered.
It is not surprise to see a plumber in a developed country earns more than a doctor does. Plumber is a profession which was even neglected earlier in many developed countries. Continuous negligence, low level of income and lack of social reputation, people was demotivated to be a plumber in many developed countries developing a huge shortage of competent plumbers. Realising the fact, government introduced VET for the negated professions with a decent policy guideline and control for implementation. The hat to be a VET graduates solves the problems in many ways. However, introducing VET without a decent policy framework in place and without making an atmosphere to implement will not offer any solution. It rather may bring more danger as providing VET always costs more money than traditional education. However, if with a decent policy and proper implementation, fishermen in Maldives can be given a hat of VET graduation; it would be no surprise to see that fishermen enjoy same social life as the politicians do which may make the sector sustain longer providing a sustainable development to Maldives.
We express our sincere gratitude to the honourable Minister of Education Dr.
Asim Ahmed and State Minister of Education, Mr. Imad Solih Ministry of Education,
Republic of Maldives for their kind supports to this research.
1A place is the Southern part of Maldives