The Need for Continuing Education in Management Development: Case of Kuwait University

Article excerpt

The need for continuing education in management development was investigated with special reference to Kuwait University, and the nature and practice of continuing education, its purposes, problems and its evaluation in relation to management development were reviewed. It was concluded that education supports the creation of new social relationships and that continuing education must remedy the failures of formal education, and the existing distortion of socioeconomic and cultural aspects of society. Recommendations are made to facilitate achievement of these goals.

Keywords: continuing education, management development, Kuwait.

Continuing education can be defined as an education that comprises conferences, seminars, and refresher courses that occur while a person is in paid employment. Thus, it provides chances for employers and workers to gradually upgrade their skills. Ubeku (1975) points out that an employee should be helped to grow into more responsibility by systematic training and development. He also states that continuing education can be described as a kind of learning environment and educational program whereby the learner is given the opportunity to acquire some kind of organized knowledge, and to be able to combine his/her studies with other work activities. This could be done from home or place of work. The aim is to improve skills for specific purposes, usually to improve academic qualifications and add to experience.

Through the human resources of an organization, continuing education is an effective and efficient fundamental way to update and keep abreast of the explosion of knowledge. George (1977) states that manpower is considered an economic resource. It represents the aggregate of skills and attitudes resulting from education plus training that equips a labor force with a capacity to plan, organize, and carry out economic processes.

Olaitan (1986) examined the US Government Printing Office and showed that manpower development involves efforts to stimulate more employment opportunities, to upgrade the skills and adaptability of the work force, and to link job and person more effectively. Thus development in manpower means the gradual upgrading of the employee's knowledge, skills and attitudes for present and future roles in the industry. It equips individuals to enable them to perform present jobs effectively and prepares them adequately for future challenges.

Opuwill and Uwameiye (2003) discuss the need for continuing education in manpower development and conclude that it is very necessary to increase liaison and communication between industrial organizations and educational institutions in curriculum planning and development. They suggest that this could include a careful review of the criteria of the formal education system.

Eliason, Blinn and Perry (2003) state that approaches to forest management are changing as the public's expectations about forest resources broaden, environmental concern grows, and scientific knowledge about forests advances. Natural resource professionals rely in part on continuing education to stay abreast of new ideas and strategies for managing forest resources. The authors of that study conducted a series of focus groups to ensure that such educational programs are successful in instructing about natural resource professionals' education needs with regard to voluntary timber harvesting and forest management guidelines. Recommendations for conducting forest management guideline education programs were presented and these recommendations also apply generally to education programs for other natural resource professionals.

The current study looks at the need for continuing education in management development, and reviews its nature and practice, purposes, problems and evaluation in relation to management development with special reference to the Center for Continuing Education and Community Service at Kuwait University.

THE LABOR MARKET AND EDUCATION IN KUWAIT

Lundgren (1978) identifies economic changes that demand new knowledge and skills, and change within the educational system. …

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