Innovation is Dying Out!

By Fahed Khitan

تم نشره في Wed 31 May / May 2017. 12:00 AM
  • Fahed Khitan

The Jordanian spirit of innovative is dying out. The last two decades have seen major drainages of the qualified human resources.

For over twenty years, we have had a shortage of administrators and specialists to meet the needs of Jordanian and foreign markets, in terms of graduates.

Nowadays, things have changed.

While we may have an obvious shortcoming in Jordanian management human resources, it is —however— for a very different reason.

More and more qualified and skilful Jordanians are immigrating. For instance, the Arab Gulf is still far more attractive to Jordanians than their own country.

Domestically, neither the public nor private sectors have the capacity to even begin to compete with the salaries offered in the Gulf.

The public sector, particularly, is in a far worse state.

The strategies of administrative reforms, training, and employee qualification, have not paid off the least.

It is not hard for anyone to spot the regression of professional capacities and the absence of incentive among public servants, let alone dropping productivity.

Bureaucracy; all the legislative and administrative regulations, leaving barely any room for imagination, is the main reason why the public sector has deteriorated so much.

Simultaneously, the absence of competitiveness, accountability, and the low salaries, have not helped either!

In every government department, officials and administrators complain of qualifications and skills shortage.

Meanwhile, the mechanisms of promotion and grade scales do not allow for the younger employees to advance their careers as public servants, nor positions.

At the same time, it forces the ministers to deal with the situation as is; in all its negativities.

It is safe to say that the government was never unaware of these particular challenges to enhancing the public service sector.

Over the years, pages upon pages have been laid out in our governments’ plans to address these issues.

Still, no effort has succeeded to constitute any fundamental change to the standing frustrating situation.

The routine of dulling bureaucracy has endured the numerous plans laid by our best ministers, thus far.

While at it, associations and unions are not doing any better either. Those too have fallen short on their duties.

For decades, they have been trapped in the confinements of the ballot box and political aspiration.

On top of it all, there are all these useless university admission policies, which have only made it worse.

The range of options on the bachelor level, throughout Jordanian universities, has put out an army of educated but unemployed youth with no qualification to meet the needs of the market.

The undergraduate education system has not been developed to meet the requirements of a competitive market.

As we have been falling behind, other countries are now graduating professionals with qualifications rivalling, sometimes even surpassing, the Jordanian standard.

One of the main reasons why rising with the Jordanian bureaucracy is so difficult is, needless to say, all the weight on its shoulders.

The bureaucratic device is so hindered by its own weight that it can barely move over its own obstacles, incapable of carrying out any significant reforms, let alone innovate solutions!

Despite all of our governments’ efforts to slim the public sector down by cutting on employment, the last five years have seen incremental pressures to further expand the sector to absorb rising unemployment, under various poli-economic strains.

In many instances, public servants were recruited despite being unqualified.

That said, innovation is Jordan’s only hope for the future, and a major source of national income.

We have always relied on entrepreneurship to unleash new employment prospects for our youth, attract investments, and help enhance the quality of the public sector.

Now, we’re losing the one thing we cannot afford to lose.

We need to devise a comprehensive, actionable project to reform the human resources sector, to restore confidence in our youth’s competitiveness in the marketplace.

However, such an endeavour requires an all-encompassing effort of collaboration all throughout the various levels of the public sector and beyond.

This article is an edited translation of the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.