The problem of unemployment

Iqra Liaqat

THE problem of unemployment has become very acute in developing countries. Cicero regarded unemployment as a sort of suicide. Jameson considered it as the burial of a living person. It aggravates the poverty of people. An unemployed person remains crestfallen. He is like a piece of wood tossed about by the eddies in a river. Unemployment creates indiscipline and lawlessness in society. Unemployment in our country has assumed such a serious form that it must be regarded as the problem number one and should be given first attention.

The World Conference on Human Rights held in Vienna in 1993 stressed the necessity of protecting human rights. But it did not mention anything about rights to work to be included as a fundamental right in various constitutions of the world. The right to work has been included in our constitution, but it cannot be enforced through a court of law, since it is only a Directive Principle of the State Policy.

There are various causes for unemployment in our country. The first is the increase in population. It is rapidly increasing at a rate of 3.1 at present. Our system of education is defective. A large number of graduates and post-graduates come out of colleges every year. There are no sufficient vacancies in the government departments to absorb them. Often they prefer white-collar jobs. Further the educated persons are not enterprising.

Even one who has a degree in agriculture does not like to start a farm and make money. The pace of industrialization is slow. Frequent strikes by workers discourage industrialists from starting new industries. Village and cottage industries remain neglected. During the last four decades several schemes have been initiated by the government to provide additional and seasonal employment, they do not ensure continuity of employment or income. Even though these schemes are meant to benefit the weaker sections, they may in actual practice serve the better off.

Let us now suggest a few measures by which this problem can be solved. The population explosion impedes the economic development of the country. Every effort must, therefore, be made to reduce birth rate. The Chinese government gives a number of incentives to the people to reduce natality. Such incentives should be given to them in our country. We made a great mistake by spending huge amounts of money on higher education.

This has created a massive unemployment among the educated. In China only those young men and women who are brilliant are selected for higher education. After school education all students have to work on farms or in factories for two years. When this period is over, most of them continue their work there.

The other students go for higher education. Further, the admission of students to Key-Universities there is based on entrance tests. Those who pass the test need not pay any fee. They are given scholarships. Further, they are assured employment on completion of their education. To reduce the unemployment, in our rural areas village and cottage industries should be developed. Thus the rush of the people from villages to towns and cities can be checked to some extent.

In the USA there are PhDs working as taxi-drivers and waiters. Those who wish to start their own industries have to be given financial assistance. The workers should create a peaceful atmosphere for industrial growth. The workers of Japan are highly patriotic and industrious. They think that the progress of their factories is the progress of their own. Only rare do they resort to strikes.

The Pakistani workers should imitate the Japanese workers. By rapid industrialization it will not be difficult for Pakistan to get rid of unemployment. But Pakistan doesn’t have sufficient capital for this. The government and the people should avoid extravagance and save more and more money and it should be used for industrializing the country.

We must also attach importance to job-oriented education. We must say good-bye to the conventional courses like BA/B.Sc. We must have colleges for such courses as BSc and Ms in subjects like leather technology, plastic technology, rubber technology, computer sciences and printing technology. There should also be courses for a degree and post-graduate degree in business management, tourism, nursing, microbiology, biotechnology etc. These courses have good scope for employment.

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