CARVALHO MADIVATE

Mozambique 2020 | HEALTH & EDUCATION | VIP INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Carvalho Madivate, General Director of the Higher Institute of Science and Technology of Mozambique (ISCTEM), on delivering quality education, brain drain, and challenges for graduates finding jobs in the country.

Can you give us an overview of ISCTEM?

ISCTEM started in 1996 as part of a social investment project, and it has grown substantially since then. It started with three or four programs, and we now have 24. ISCTEM is now gearing up to transform into a university, focusing on fields such as health sciences, business management, architecture, law, and engineering.

As ISCTEM is transitioning to become a university, how do you intend to improve the institution?

Our mission is to educate people for the future. Improving the level of our education is a constant ongoing struggle for the institution and is key to placing ourselves in a strong position in the market, given that ISCTEM does not benefit from endowments, unlike other institutions. As an educational institution, there are three key areas where we can add value: management, curriculum, and lecturers. We intend to change and improve the way we teach, the spaces we work in, and the way we interact. We are also focusing on changing the language within the institution and delivering a better internal service. Another important step for our institution is our ongoing process of decentralization, whereby we aim to empower all employees to make decisions working toward our common goal of delivering quality education to our students.

There is a high unemployment rate in Mozambique and many young graduates seek for employment abroad. Can the brain drain effect be limited?

Brain drain is an inevitable consequence of the current conditions of the market, which is not sustainable and fails to meet the expectations of young graduates. Stopping the brain drain is not up to higher educational institutions, which are only present in a limited number. It is something that will organically happen with the growth of economic opportunities in the country. At the same time, we need our young graduates to go overseas and gain experience; it is crucial that they see what is happening in the world and understand how things can be improved in Mozambique. This way, they can add value to the economy and give back to the country.

How hard is it for young graduates to find a job?

The transition from higher education to the job market is more challenging now than it was in the past. This is due to the lack of growth in the labor market, a reflection of the economic crisis, and hyperinflation over the last four years. The government is operating on a fixed budget basis, which has reduced employment opportunities in the public sector. The market has witnessed a fall in foreign direct investment, especially for the middle tier, which has hindered job creation. Despite this rather grim picture, we are seeing a slow resumption of growth and movement in the socioeconomic fabric. You can see this, for example, by looking at the number of entertainment, restoration, and cultural possibilities that are changing the face of Maputo, the capital. These are indicators of new jobs being created as well as the growing purchasing power of the public. At ISCTEM, we are committed to facilitating the transition between school and work by offering a number of internships to our students. We are creating partnerships with private companies, finding ways to bring them close to the institution, and involving them in being part of our student's studying experience as well as of their future prospects. We are matching what we are doing as an educational institution with what the market needs in terms of competences and demands.