Mauritania forum advises bac holders on way forward
By Bakari Guèye for Magharebia in Nouakchott – 24/07/12
The Youth and Curriculum Advice Forum offers young Mauritanians career planning guidance through advisory seminars.
Speaking at a seminar on July 6th, organisers said the event "concentrated on raising awareness among baccalaureate students, guiding them towards the most suitable specialisations, based on specific criteria for each individual".
"The meeting will help guide young people, who already have their own particular leanings, and help them to develop those by providing information about the various criteria and other things which will open the way to success in their studies," explained El Khalil Ould Jiyid, the Secretary-General at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport.
Ould Jiyid added that his ministry would "give priority to young people, enabling them to fulfil their role as players in economic and social development, helping to promote good citizenship and strengthening national unity, as well as integrating them into the work of nation-building".
Meanwhile, Mohamed Ould Hamady, secretary-general of the youth forum, said that the gathering was aimed at creating "space for discussion and sharing among the new baccalaureate holders, those who want to make a success of their university courses, and those who have gone before them and can use their experiences to show them the way".
"A successful school and university career and scientific and professional specialisation depend upon how efficiently and accurately students are guided towards the subjects and specialisations which suit each of them," he said. "But it's also essential to bear in mind what the labour market needs."
Jemila Mint Abdel Vettah, who chairs the forum, emphasised "the value of sensible advice to the new baccalaureate holders and feedback from their elders who have studied in foreign universities".
Students studying abroad were keen to share their experiences. Sidati Ould Mohamed, studying marine resources in Morocco, said he chose his course of study because it was a growth sector.
"Fishing is very important to the national economy and there are a great many job opportunities. Because of that, I'd advise young baccalaureate holders who want to be sure of a job after university to get into that area," he added.
Moussa Sy, who is studying in France, opted for research. He is a keen mathematician and wants to share his passion for maths with his younger brothers: "Even when I was very young, I was already interested in numbers. During my studies at secondary school, math attracted me because of its fun side. In the final year of secondary school, I couldn't wait to get my baccalaureate and go to a Grande École."
Cheikh Ould Didi, an international consultant, said: "Students who want to get into the job market quickly are turning increasingly to BTS courses. But it's not easy to choose from the multitude of specialisations on offer. So you really need a clear idea of what work you want to do."
"BTS courses, offering vocational training to second year post-baccalaureate level, attract many students who are in a hurry to get into the job market," he added, explaining that "the BTS is a vocational course, with the advantage that it trains you for work."
"If you want to come up with a realistic plan, it's important to think what you can put into it," Ould Didi said. "How much time are you prepared to devote to your studies, how many hours work a day? How many years training before you start work? What are your strengths and weaknesses?"
Seminar participants also had an opportunity to find out about the various courses on offer at the Mining School and other local private universities.
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