Poorly paid graduates by the public sector

Date: December 14, 2012
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Name of story: Poorly paid graduates by the public sector            

Name of journalist:Christiana Villbrin

Name of publication: Le Defi Plus                                    

Date: 13th October                        

Country: Mauritius    

Theme: Education and Economics

Skills: Perspective

Genre: News analysis

GEM classification: Gender Blind

Description: The ‘inflation qualification’ is a new social phenomenon in Mauritius, as claimed by Dr Chandan Jankee, Associate Professor in Economics at the University of Mauritius. University graduates dedicate much time and spend several thousand rupees, and sometimes millions of rupees on their tertiary studies. Their main goal is to secure a good job with a good salary. But the reality of the job market does not meet their aims- the latest Pay Research Bureau (PRB) proves it. Consequently, many graduates are deeply disappointed when they enter the job market as most of the time they do not get their dream job or if they do, the salary is not enough to cover their studies costs.

Headline: The headline delves directly in the subject matter as the whole article talks about the ‘unfair salary of graduates who are in the public service sector.’ It will attract the Mauritian reader as many qualified Government officers are offered a meagre salary as well as poor job conditions.

Sources: The reader gets the perspective of 3 experts- an economist, a lecturer and the president of the Government General Services union. All 3 sources used in this article are men.
But this subject matter concerns both men and women as women are now part of the labour market. According to statistics, more girls than boys attend university. But more men than women are into the high level jobs. Nothing was said about the gender dimension of graduates being unfairly paid. Usually men are given priority over women in top salary jobs.
The Economist, Dr Yousouf Ismael highlights that many graduates rather stay abroad where they will get a better salary and better job conditions, based on meritocracy. This statement is supported by Dr Chandan Jankee. But the perspective of a women expert would have been significant. A public sector officer’s comment on this matter would have given the reader a perspective of reality.
Further, a person from the ‘Scheme of service’ would have given the reader a better idea on how salaries are calculated depending on your level of qualifications. The experts talk about the grass being greener abroad and that is the reason why the graduates are not coming back to the country. Thus, the view of an expatriate would have been substantial here.

Visual images: The image present in the article is gender balanced in the sense that it shows 3 women coming from work, 2 policemen and a gentleman. The image does not correlate with the article as nothing is said on gender during the analysis. Further, emphasis is laid on newly graduates but on the picture there are no young working people.

Story angle and perspective: This article is of high importance as Mauritius is facing a slump in the motivation among the employees at the level of the Government. Women are employed in this sector but they were not given voice in the article. The reader doesn’t know the female perspective on the ‘inflation qualification’. Are women being sacrificed to give way to men in better paid jobs?
They talked about lecturers and teachers-only education sector. The public sector is huge and other employees might not affiliate themselves with this article. Government officers, police department and to name a few. According to the ‘Scheme of service,’ if a person with a Bachelor in Social Sciences applies for a job where the minimum qualification is the higher school certificate, he will still receive a salary based on the Higher School Certificate
In Mauritius, connections are given more importance than competences. Also major decisions are taken by the older generation, leaving the younger generation without a voice; they are unable to take part in decision making and bring innovation. The older generation comprise of mainly men who might have some stereotypes against women and young adults. Young people do not want to join in the public sector due to the lack of transparency in terms of promotion and meritocracy.

Training Exercises: Why are there more women than men in the tertiary sector but more men than women in the top salary jobs?
Is the Government being Gender-Sensitive while promoting officers in the top jobs?

Other training resources: The SADC Gender protocol. Article 15-19 (Productive resources, employment and economic employment) could be used as training material.

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