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Neglecting IT is a momentary concern, opines Wali Shah

We have incredibly talented youth but the country cannot achieve
progress if its youth are disappointed, says Senior IT professional

Muhammad Umar Waqqas

KARACHI: Despite facing numerous challenges in the IT sector, Pakistan’s Information Technology (IT) exports for August 2023 have amounted to $235 million, marking a significant 10% increase on a month-on-month (MoM) basis. But this success could have been expanded if the government took more serious steps.
According to the latest Labor Force Survey by the PBS (Pakistan Board of Statistics) in 2020-21, male and female youth comprise 13.1% and 13.2% respectively of the total population in the country.
Their combined absolute number is 58.7 million. Pakistan is one of the largest young countries in the world with around 63% of the population aged between 15 and 30. But the unemployment rate among this age group is at 8.5%, one of the highest in the region. Moreover, more than a million jobs must be generated each year to improve labour force participation rates.
According to the Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment, around 450,110 Pakistanis left Pakistan in the first seven months of 2023 to find job opportunities elsewhere. This is an extremely dangerous number. Majority of this number consists of doctors, fresh graduates and IT engineers. This is an irreparable loss for Pakistan.
Senior IT professional Wali Shah discusses some of the leading causes responsible for driving the crisis of international migration among Pakistanis, including an intensifying economic crisis and political turmoil, surging terrorism, and constant threats of natural disasters.
He says that “the government should take drastic steps to wipe out the disappointment among the people via creating lucrative employment opportunities. There has been significant progress in the IT sector in the world, the version changes after every 6 months, but we have not taken the first step yet. Our basic education system is not promoting IT.
Wali Shah added “If technological innovation is brought in the schools and colleges run under the patronage of the government, then the best employment opportunities can be created in all the cities and villages of the country. It is a matter of regret that so far the work on the installation of IT infrastructure has not been done even in the government schools and colleges of the cities.
If the government shows seriousness on this matter, along with job opportunities in the country, tax collection can also be implemented. If we start from today, it will produce the results in the next 5 years. But unfortunately we have not taken the first step yet. The government should include people with them who are experts.
If these measures are taken, professionals will not leave the country, Senior IT professional Wali Shah tells TFD.

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