MOST Goans do not do well at competitive examinations, including the ones conducted by the state government. The dismal results of the recent examination for recruitment of accountants as well as the examinations held by the Goa Public Service Commission (GPSC) have shocked everybody. The directorate of higher education has decided to form a panel to prepare a roadmap to coach Goan students to prepare for competitive examinations. Recruitments to various posts in government departments had been normally made based on interviews in which candidates with recommendations by MLAs sneaked through. Ever since written tests were introduced for government recruitments, the percentage of failure has been very high. The news that of none of the 8,000 candidates appearing for the written tests held for recruitment of accountants in the state department of accounts shocked everyone, with some blaming the education system. The reality was that Goan youth generally do not prepare for competitive examinations. Nor are there courses available for them to develop themselves for answering the types of questions that are asked these days in competitive examinations.
The Goan youth is passing through a phase when the scope of getting a job with MLA’s recommendation is shrinking and their skill for cracking competitive examinations is not yet developed. We can call it a wake-up time for them. They have to get prepared to try and succeed at All India Service examinations and other tests for central government jobs. They must claim some of the thousands of vacancies in the banks that are available through competitive examinations. They must shed their preference to find a job nearer home and be ready to work in other states. The educational system, with its fixed curriculum and requirement of long, explanatory answers, does not instill skills of competiveness among them. There is need to coach them for competitive examinations along with the regular courses. For making this a reality the college must evaluate the students at regular intervals for development of the ability to answer questions of the type set in competitive examinations.
Now that the government has decided to teach the students in the colleges on how to answer competitive examination, it should move on it with speed. The education department must regularly monitor the progress on that score to help all students get training in answering competitive tests. There is also a necessity to publish books and other course material for recruitment to various government posts with local contents on which the candidates could be tested. Candidates could be provided training at the taluka level till the proposed scheme of imparting training at the college level gets going.
Recruitments in government departments have come to a virtual halt in the recent past for various reasons, including indecisiveness of the government, sooner or later they need to be made; so the youth must be ready for them. With thousands of jobs on offer in the days ahead, the government must make sure that selection was made through a fair and competitive process. The recruitment process must be transparent with tests and interviews done objectively. Only those making the grade should be offered employment. This would help the best hands to get the posts and hopefully reduce the sloth and delay in government work. In order to be fair to the applicants the government should clearly state the subjects on which they would be tested.
The government has been speaking of setting up a staff selection board and a centralised recruitment process, both of which have failed to take off. Only when the recruitment process is done through competitive examinations that the students would prepare themselves for competitive tests, for then they would know that there is no other choice. There is possibility of a few thousand people being recruited in the near future in the government departments to fill the existing vacancies and a few more thousands in the years ahead to fill the vacancies that would arise out of superannuation and creation of new posts. The state government would not be in a position to absorb all the graduates, diploma holders and others who enter the job market every year. The youth must be willing to find avenues of employment in the private sector. They must explore the opportunities available in the industries operating in the state. There are new economic sectors that have been growing exponentially, such as retail, insurance, logistics. Graduates and diploma holders should look at the opportunities in such sunrise sectors, for once they find their feet in an area of their choice they could go up the ladder very fast, providing they concentrate on giving a consistent performance.