By, Shannon A. Garrido
After examining the data collected by a recent survey of our student’s prospects on their education and what they plan to do with it, we have been presented with both positive and negative outcomes. New Horizons students are keen on receiving a college education, no less than 96.5% of high school students from 11th and 12th grade are planning on attending university or college. This shows that a promising amount has given thorough thought to their future and that many believe they have sufficient skills to pursue some vocation. If enough students set their mind on a developing path to their careers, our country would be receiving well-rounded future contributors to society… Or one would believe.
An average of 45 to 50 percent of New Horizons students end up studying abroad and these numbers continue to grow each year. Now as important as it is for students to pursue their chosen paths where it is more accessible as well as beneficial to them, it leaves the Dominican Republic to pick up what was left behind. When we asked how many of our students plan on coming back to the Dominican Republic after college, if of course they study abroad, a disheartening 28.4% responded that they would. Leaving an alarming 71.6% of students that are not planning on returning.
Even though it’s encouraged to pursue overseas the country, it should also be encouraged to come back and help rebuild what our ancestors have demolished. Our country needs to shake the hands of progress; Welcoming younger players, engineers, politicians, artists, lawyers etc. That will polish our dirt filled bumpers.
While interviewing a New Horizons graduate currently studying abroad whose name shall remain anonymous. We were able to get an inside scoop on the thought process that may go into how you plan your future education and career. When asked why she chose to study abroad responded that “at the time It was because i was always told its better in terms of employment and educational opportunities as well as a better lifestyle.” In theory, this is deemed to be true.
In an effort to keep it clear for those who for some reason or another cannot study abroad, she expressed that it also depends on the kind of person you are and your career of choice. Many regret studying abroad just as much as those who regret staying in the country because many careers can become suffocating , when you’re going through it on your own in an environment where you feel like you are not making a difference. It is recommended to pursue a lifestyle in which both your education and living environment contribute to you as a person as well as your community. The graduate also stated that there are many careers that unfortunately are better developed in schools outside the country such as, engineering, architecture, design, arts, and humanities.
What our interviewee didn’t know is that all of these careers are ones that our country is in desperate need for. Take engineering for instance, according to a report by BARNA business school in regards to the Dominican Republic “Road infrastructure is inherently critical.” The Nations Encyclopedia stated that “most rural areas affected by natural disasters and tropical storms have often-impassable roads… …perhaps the biggest obstacle to the country’s industrial development since the 1960s has been its unreliable electrical service.” Our country could benefit immensely from the 65% of students that plan on pursuing Science, Math or technology and remain abroad.
These statistics can also connect towards the need for Sustainable Engineering in the country, an Environmental Science and Policy undergraduate at Humboldt State University wrote a letter on his community technology implementation with locals in Santo Domingo. These are the kinds of people our country needs in order to move forward. From infrastructure to implementing environmental sciences, to arts, humanities and proper politics, all fields of expertise the Dominican Republic could benefit greatly from. Sadly our students don’t normally consider the possibility to pursue any of these careers in the country, understandably so, but where does that leave a country in desperate need?
Our country’s cultural development benefits immensely on new upcoming artists, regardless of what field, but many of our students don’t know how much they can do if pursuing in the country. Christina Noriega, a Colombian-American journalist and writer in her column in Remezcla states that even though many sometimes consider the Dominican Republic “artistically isolated” it been brought foward that recently a new generation of Dominican artists has become more internationally synced, with multiple women leading the wave such as; Hulda Guzmán, Joiri Minaya and Mencia Zagarella. Yet 63% of New Horizons students planning on pursuing Arts, Entertainment abroad, don’t plan on coming back. In fact with every major we offered our students, the majority simply do not plan on ever making it back. Now, of course, these facts only apply to students who plan on studying abroad, especially those applying to health and medicine fields, who ranked 100% of students once out of the country plan on remaining overseas. Half of New Horizons students that plan on remaining in the country, and most of these candidates plan on pursuing their chosen career in the Dominican as well. Even if all this means different things to different students, depending on their career choices, home statures, and financial stability we must ask ourselves; If studying abroad the Dominican Republic is deemed predominantly better and our country is in need of well-refined graduates, why not consider the possibility of branching out where is needed instead of where it seems convenient?