Good Morning; the Vice President, the Minister of Education, Ministers, His Excellency the Indian High Commissioner to the Maldives, of course Director of NIIT Mr. Rajendran and our friend from EEEC Mr. Subramanian;
Good Morning Everyone;
Mr. Rajendran, I have to confess that I am again in a little bit of trouble for having danced the other evening in Thoddoo. As I remember in 2009 in February with the Indian trade delegation who came here, we had an excellent few days. We had a very enjoyable time and I think we did the unthinkable of dancing that evening in one of the resorts. But I very vividly remember us going into the details of how we maybe able to go to another situation, another reality, another Maldives that we have all been thinking, hoping and picturing.
And of course it came from you and many others who were present in that delegation, the need for training, technology and also the need for our youth to be skilled. That of course is the central part of our manifesto, to have a more skilled youth population. We have a country; we are a country where more than 50% of the population is below 30 years of age. And we are now shocked through recent findings, recent surveys of income and expenditure to find out that a vast majority of this youth is unemployed. They are unemployed because they are not skilled enough; they do not have the necessary skills for them to be able to find employment. There is employment in this country. We have more than 110,000 expatriate workers in this country out of which a good 50% is semi skilled and skilled. We have recently understood that we have to be able to train more than 10,000 young people to all sorts of different semi skilled and skilled levels. This program is the beginning of that project. I can see the Higher Education Departments and the higher education experts with us here and we would like to continue and we would like to make it as fruitful and as beneficial as possible.
There is no doubt that we need skilled training and we need technology. I do remember as Subramanium pointed out in the 80’s when the vast majority of the Indians didn’t think perhaps that there was a need for higher levels of technology training. I remember going to Karnataka, going to Bangalore to visit a cousin who was going to school there, and walking right into a huge demonstration against computers. That was very shocking at that time, but here you are 20, 30 years later on this same Bangalore is the heart of Information Technology, not just simply in India, but I would now argue in the whole world.
We know that we can move forward, we know that we can bring results. High Commissioner, I am very, very confidant that NIIT and EEEC will be most capably handling our students and delivering this project. We’ve had a lot of conversations, our Government Officials and the Indian Government Officials as well as both the companies, we have been able to come out with this program fairly well prepared. In fact the whole of 2009 and 2010, was spent on the drawing board and now we are able to come out with the project. In fact the High Commissioner and the Indian Delegation who came out in 2009, this is the third of the MOUs that are coming into fruition since we signed that in 2009. Ghiyasuddeen School has become an international School and again I am also very, very happy that that school won a fair amount of Quran Awards just recently, yesterday. One of the fears that we had was with foreign ownership, international management, we would be losing our culture and we would be losing the values of our religion. This certainly is not happening and I’m sure that this is not going to happen. More training and more skills is just simply going to give us more of everything.
Another very good feature of this project is that it’s going to be delivered not just simply, physically in Male’ but also in Addoo City, in Kulhudhuffushi, in Laamu and in a number of other islands throughout the country. We are very, very grateful and the Indian Government has understood our needs and the Indian Government is happy to say ready to enter into a number of partnerships with the Government of Maldives, with the intention of creating capacity in the Maldives as well as assisting us in our development.
High Commissioner and everyone else I think it is necessary for me to say a few words in Dhivehi as no one else is programmed to do that.
އަޅުގަނޑުމެން މިއަދު މިފަށާ މަސައްކަތަކީ، އަޅުގަނޑުމެންނަށް ފެންނަ ފެނުމުގައި ވަރަށް މުހިންމު މަސައްކަތެއް. ރާއްޖޭގެ އާބާދީގެ ގިނަ ބައިވަރަކީ، 50 ޕަސެންޓަށްވުރެ ގިނަ ބަޔަކީ، ޢުމުރުން 30 އަހަރުން ހަގުގެ ކުދިން. އެކުދިންގެ ތެރެއިން އަނެއްކާ ގިނަ ކުދިން ތިބީ ވަޒީފާއެއް ނެތިފައި. އެކުދިންނަށް ވަޒީފާއެއްނެތި އެތިބެނީ، ވަޒީފާ ނެތުނީމަކާއެއް ނޫން. އެކުދިންނަށް އެފަދަ ހުނަރެއް، ވަޒީފާ އަދާކުރާނެ ހުނަރެއް ނެތް. ކޮންމެވެސްވަރަކަށް ހުނަރެއް ލިބި، ނުވަތަ ރަނގަޅު ހުނަރާ އެކީގައި ގޮސް އަދާކުރެވޭ ބާވަތުގެ ވަރަށްގިނަ ވަޒީފާ ރާއްޖޭގައި އެބަހުރި. ކޮންމެވެސްވަރެއްގެ ހުނަރަކާ އެކުގައި އަދާކުރާ ވަޒީފާތަކުގެ ތެރެއިން ތިރީސްހާސް ވަޒީފާ، ހަމަ މިހާރުވެސް އަޅުގަނޑުމެންގެ ރައްޔިތުންންނަށް، އަޅުގަނޑުމެންގެ ޒުވާނުންނަށް، އެ ހުނަރުތައް ލިބިއްޖެނަމަ، އަދާކުރެވޭނެ ތިރީސްހާސް ވަޒީފާ އޮތްކަން އަޅުގަނޑުމެންނަށް މިހާރު އެންމެފަހުގެ މަޢްލޫމާތުތަކުން ފާހަގަކުރެވޭ. އޭގެތެރޭގައި ހިމެނެނީ، އިންފޮމޭޝަން ޓެކްނޯލޮޖީގެ ހުނަރު ނުވަތަ ކާރެއް ދުއްވުން، ޑަމްޕަރެއް ދުއްވުން، ކޭކެއް ފިހުން، ވެއިޓަރަކަށްވުން، ބޯކޮށުން، ފެހުން، ވަޑާން ކުރުން، މިހެންގޮސް މިބާވަތުގެ ކިތަންމެ ކިތަންމެ ހުނަރުތަކެއް، އަޅުގަނޑުމެން އެބަޖެހޭ، އަޅުގަނޑުމެންގެ ޒުވާން ޖީލަށް އަންގައިދީ ދަސްކޮށްދޭން. ސަރުކާރުން އިރާދަކުރެއްވިއްޔާ، ކުރިއަށް މިއޮތް އަހަރުގެ ތެރޭގައި، މި ހުނަރު ޒުވާނުންނަށް ހޯދައިދިނުމުގައި ނުހަނު މަސައްކަތް ކުރާނަން. މިހާރު ސަރުކާރުންވެސް އެގެންދަނީ މިނިސްޓްރީ އޮފް އެޑިޔުކޭޝަނާއި، މިނިސްޓްރީ އޮފް ހިއުމަން ރިސޯސަސް އާއި، ޕޮލިޓެކްނިކާއި، ޓިވެޓް ޕްރޮގްރާމާއި އަދި ސަރުކާރުގެ ކަމާބެހޭ އެންމެހާ ފަރާތްތައް ގުޅިގެން، މިދެންނެވި ޢަދަދަށް ޒުވާނުން ތައްޔާރު ކުރުމުގެ މަސައްކަތް ފެށްޓުމަށް. އަޅުގަނޑުމެން އަބަދުވެސް ފާހަގަކުރަމުން މިދަނީ، ކުރިއަށް މިއޮތް ދެއަހަރާއި، މިދައުރުގެ، އަޅުގަނޑުމެންގެ މިދައުރުގެ ކުރިއަށް މިއޮތް ދެއަހަރާއި ބައި، އިރާދަކުރެއްވިއްޔާ އަޅުގަނޑުމެން ހެދޭތޯ މަސައްކަތް ކުރާނީ، ވީހާވެސް ގިނަ ވަޒީފާއެއް އުފެއްދުމުގައޭ.
ވަޒީފާގެ މުހިންމުކަމާއި، އަދި ވަޒީފާއަށް އެދި ތިބި ޒުވާނުންނާއި އަދި އެހެންވެސް ފަރާތްތަކުގެ ޢަދަދު، މިއަދު އަޅުގަނޑުމެންނަށް މިވަނީ ކުރިން ދުވަހަކުވެސް ސާފުނުވާ މިންވަރަށް ސާފުވެފައި. އެހެންވީމާ، ސާފުވާ މަޢްލޫމާތުގެ އަލީގައި، ސިޔާސަތުތައް ބިނާކޮށް، ކަނޑައެޅި، އެ ސިޔާސަތުތައް އިރާދަކުރެއްވިއްޔާ ތަންފީޛު ކުރަމުން އަޅުގަނޑުމެން ގެންދާނަން.
Again just before I finish I would like to thank the Indian Industries and its Chairman who have been very, very instrumental in facilitating this Program. It is costing USD 5 Million, and that USD 5 Million is a grant from the Government of India and I’m sure we are making very good use of that money. Again I thank everyone who is present here and I hope that you will have a very, very fruitful workshop and a seminar and completely understand what we are trying to achieve here.
I can see Addu City Councilors, I can see Kulhudhuffushi Councilors, I can see a number of stakeholders who are going to be planning the project, understanding the project and therefore becoming a medium to make the project a success.
Thank You Very Much.