Education Day event in Tunisia
Tunis – Azhar Jarboui
Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki has hailed the achievements of students during an Education Day reception at Carthage Palace.
The event was also attended by Prime Minister Ali Larayedh
and head of the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) Mustapha Ben Jaafar.
Mazouki emphasised the importance of celebrating Education Day, claiming it reflects Tunisian aspirations to build a nation which values knowledge and its educators.
He said that the increasing migration of Tunisians for study purposes is a problem which could be partly put down to national institutions failing equip citizens for the jobs market.
"When I see Tunisians living and working outside our borders, I think there is a problem. The problem isn't just down to institutions not delivering on what they had promised, but also down to our attitude. Our children grow up here, and when it is time for them to give us something back, we find that a large number of them want to leave Tunisia, to study and work abroad, and only return to Tunisia as tourists," he said.
Marzouki called on education experts to study this "brain drain" phenomenon and find a solution so Tunisia doesn't become "a workshop which nurtures talented individuals before allowing them to leave for other countries, like a new form of colonisation."
The Tunisian head of state also touched on education reform, and emphasised the importance of universities equipping students for the jobs market, so that the country can tackle its youth unemployment problem.
Marzouki also advocated the establishment of a higher education council which would review the state's higher education policy and become an important interaction tool for education institutions and civil society.