THE country is not getting value for the money being spent on the education sector because proper mechanisms are not in place. And the country continues to suffer from a brain drain and underemployment, according to economist Indera Sagewan-Alli.
Alli was the feature speaker for yesterday's post budget breakfast forum held at the Oilfield Workers' Trade Union (OWTU) headquarters in San Fernando.
The forum was hosted by OWTU and the Co-Operative Credit Union League of Trinidad and Tobago. Alli said there was an "absolute mismatch" between education policy and development policy, and that Monday's budget was an election budget and a political statement that lacked vision, creativity and proper structure.
Although the number of university graduates was increasing yearly because of the Government Assistance for Tuition Expenses (GATE) programme, many were not satisfied with their job placement, Alli said.
She said: "You graduate and you can't find a job because the market is not creating the job for you. There are many looking for jobs and cannot find employment. We are employing a lot of our young professionals in the field for which they have not studied. We are underemployed. We have degreed individuals who are working as clerks in the government service. That is not sustainable. "
The country will continue a "brain drain" if proper mechanisms were put in place, she said.
"It is something wrong when we have in Trinidad a medical sciences complex , training doctors and our medical system is monopolism by foreign doctors and nurses. We have shortages in the medical system but we are over supplied with lawyers (and) engineers."
She said "There is nothing that we have done over time to build into them a sense of commitment to country, (or) a sense of commitment to self, and therefore where the opportunities are, they will go and is not their fault."