Author: Lorik Idrizi

In antiquity, knowledge was very general, and the word philosophy itself implies a general love of knowledge, not channeled and professional. But, in modern times, these models have significantly changed and knowledge must now be verified and in function of a profession or developmental dimension, whether it is verified and evaluated by a subjective measure that stands in the hierarchy of knowledge.

Undoubtedly, knowledge and education are the most sublime dimensions of the human being, while higher education represents the awareness of this concept and with it the enlightenment of the human being. The cult of knowledge and education, with periods of eclipses, starts from antiquity and is strengthened especially in the Renaissance period. This cult continues in particular in the 19th and 20th centuries, when knowledge and education receive deeply institutional treatment in Western countries. Precisely in the western countries, this cult of knowledge and education slowly begins to be structured into professional knowledge, while it also begins to be transposed on the basis of social realities, of the market economy and on the basis of institutional projections, which already introduce knowledge into other dimensions’ affirmations that go beyond the conservation of this cult only in the hemispheres of philosophizing.

In the Balkans, things usually come late, concepts and approaches too. It is precisely this cult of knowledge that has turned into an insurmountable scheme that unfortunately remains at rhetorical levels and displaced forms. The cult of having a degree seems to have taken the place of literal knowledge and pragmatic forms of professional knowledge that are already established forms in developed Western societies.

Beyond this cult-saturated scheme, it should already be noted that not necessarily every person should have a higher education, because this would be against human nature. Not all beings have the same passion for knowledge understood in predetermined schemes. Every noble human being can magnify any profession, be it a non-academic profession, a mundane and noble job. Because human value does not necessarily correlate with this preconceived schema that attempts to make an unnecessary and inconsistent distinction between what a human being represents and what hemisphere it belongs to.

It is not said that you must have a higher education to have a career. Knowledge is absolute in its essence, but the models and measuring indices of knowledge are earthly and sometimes subjective.

In antiquity, knowledge was very general, and the word philosophy itself implies a general love of knowledge, not channeled and professional. But, in modern times, these models have significantly changed and knowledge must now be verified and in function of a profession or developmental dimension, whether it is verified and evaluated by a subjective measure that stands in the hierarchy of knowledge.

In model countries, with developed democracy and functional institutions of higher education, we have a completely reasonable and pragmatic approach and journey to claim a job or a successful profession. In these societies, every particle of the system functions and originates from the value system, although even in these countries there may be exceptions for an individual to manifest success outside of these conventional norms, becoming successful through sports, art, entrepreneurship or any journey not academic.

So there are exceptions, but the majority model, invented and superimposed by humanity for every child starts in kindergarten and continues to pretend to be in the academic hierarchy.

However, in the Western Balkans and in North Macedonia, it has become a kind of obligation for youngest people to continue their higher education. They do this not because of the ambition or resourcefulness that a young person possesses, but because this has become a new normality. Most young people continue higher education because it is the technical continuation of secondary school, just as secondary school is the technical continuation of primary school. In some explicit cases, higher education is a hostage of the cult of one generation that already carries this cult to the next generation.

It is time to take a step forward to change the general approach to the concept and educational system, especially to change the approach to vocational schools. They should not be viewed with negligence or skepticism. These schools should produce professional staff, which would create a well-being and a dignified life for many young people. This approach to education, namely the affirmation of vocational schools, can also combat the phenomenon of young people fleeing from North Macedonia, as is the case with almost all Western Balkan countries. Vocational schools should be more open and in cooperation with dirty institutes, think tanks and relevant institutions create a synergy, a development strategy, always based on labor market research, i.e. in synchronized  with the possibilities of absorbing labor market.

In this way, a diversity of professionals would be created in harmony with the labor market, which would naturally also create a very interesting space for investments by foreign investors. Above all, this would also change the approach and model for many young people, who, influenced by circumstances, fail to manifest what they are and what they want to be, but fall prey to predetermined schemes.