Youth — please don’t leave Pakistan !
IT is a well-known fact that the youth of any country is a great asset. They are indeed the future of the country and represent it at every level.
The role of youths in nation-building is more important, the intelligence and work of the youth takes the country on the pathway of success.
They are the building blocks of a country. Pakistan has a vast potential of youth power.
The students, employees, farmers, workers and persons from various professions, including the educated unemployed are the elements which really matter in all fields of our national life.
Unfortunately Pakistani youth are facing so many daunting challenges. The young generation of the country seems disheartened, frustrated and confused.
Their reasons include unemployment, insecurity, economic problems and lack of social support and career opportunities.
As far as unemployment is concerned, this is one of the biggest problems facing the youth of today. Young people do not see any opportunities for them in the country.
The number of unemployed people in the country has been estimated to reach 6.65 million during the fiscal year 2020-21, compared to 5.80m of the outgoing financial year. Pakistan’s economy has badly suffered with the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.
This adverse economic impact of the pandemic has translated through various channels, including decline of domestic demand, decrease in business activities, decline in import and export and reduction in production due to supply chain disruption.
One of the very obvious effects is a decrease in employment, particularly among people belonging to the vulnerable employment group. The avenues of manpower have suffered.
The pandemic has rapidly extended from the health crisis to economic and labour market crises.
It is dangerous to let our young men and women remain idle as it would enhance their frustration. This may lead to chaos and disturbance.
According to a survey by Gallup Pakistan, two-thirds of the population of Pakistan wishes to leave the country.
According to the report published by the Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment, Pakistan has experienced an unprecedented brain-drain of educated individuals in recent years.
More than 10 million Pakistani youngsters have left the country in recent years to pursue better professional and financial opportunities in a foreign land, over 800,000 of those immigrated in the last two years.
The report states that around 300,000 Pakistanis travelled abroad in the year 2018.
In 2019 alone, more than 500,000 Pakistanis, most of them fresh university graduates, left the country to find better jobs. More than 340,000 labourers also left the country to seek jobs elsewhere.
Youth is uncertain about their future in the country due to the political instability and are, therefore, not inclined to get involved in civic engagement.
Lack of transparency in recruitment to government jobs is also a demotivating factor for the young educated lot. Discouraging merit in recruitment process also discourages talent.
Another main and foremost problem is related to the prevalent education system in the country. Currently, there are multiple systems running side-by-side.
There are government-run institutes, private institutes catering to different socio-economic strata and religious seminaries or Madaris.
Because of endemic poverty, the basic right of experiencing a healthy and educated childhood is missing in them.
The literacy rate of male youth is as low as 53% and for female, it’s even worse at the percentage of 42.
Despite various efforts, the authorities have failed to provide education to this large number of population.
That is why the youth is unable to pay a pivotal role in the society. They are not well informed about the ups and downs of society, the norms and values.
The young generation in Pakistan has developed a sense of hopelessness and they are trapped in uneducated way of living rather than going to school. Many of them are going through the identity crisis.
Education is the key which opens the door to the success and develops a sense of cultural, religious and moral values.
For third world countries like us, education is the most powerful tool to eradicate poverty. But unfortunately, quality and skill based education is still a dream for our youths.
If problems of young generation aren’t properly addressed, the youth can be more forced to leave the country – may be forever.
How Pakistani youth can think to live in their own country and play their effective role for its prosperity? Answer of this question will be “yes – ways are available”.
The first and foremost the government should devise a comprehensive youth-centric policy on how to produce educated and skilled youth; how to raise their capacity; how to make best use of the available talent; and how to make them part of the job market.
The government should set aside proper budget for the development of Pakistan’s youths.
Such steps will surely raise moral and confidence of our young generation.
—The writer is a poet and works for the humanitarian causes in Pakistan.