Youth in Pakistan: National resource or liability

By turning the pages of history, a fact reveals that youth remained a revolutionary force for national development and growth which is appropriately designated as national resource. It is, therefore, considered a valuable asset which can emancipate and extricate a nation going through fire and water.

There is no denying the impression that youth can perform wonders if educated on true lines, trained technically and kept informed on optimum fashion. Generally, youth is referred as a human force which falls under the ages 18 to 28 years.

The worth-mentioning qualities of youth includes their intellectual wisdom, capacity of mind, ability to understand and reason, farsightedness along with physical strength which keeps them unparalleled and distinctive. All the developed nations utilized their nation builders in such a resourceful way that they have lit the candle of progress and brought them to the zenith of glory.

Pakistan is also blessed to have a hefty pool of talented youth which, no doubt, are a potential human resource. Ours is the country, where population of youth is above 100 million which aged below 24.

According to an international watchdog, the number of people between the age brackets of 19-30 is expanding rapidly and by 2030, the total population of Pakistan would increase from the majority of Muslim countries population. Thus, a strategy must be devised to channelize and direct our youth in the right path from where they could clinch positive image for Pakistan and can positively add to its economic sustainability. However, if they are left vagrant and feckless and their knowledge and skills are not properly addressed they will turn into liability.

Luckily, Pakistan is fortunate that 63 percent of its population falls under the domain of youth. Therefore, in the era of struggle and antipathy, the availability of highly technically skilled educated stratum of society can yield positive offspring’s for a country in the comity of nations.

In compliance with the above mentioned fact, all the developed and developing nations are exerting greater importance and pressing hard to utilize this human resource in an effective manner. Thus, to brought this efficacious class under the banner of state, certain strategies and taken to borne fruits out of this potential youth. Pakistan is blessed to have the world’s fifth largest number of youngsters in its population.

According to international database of US Census Bureau, the figure of youth in Pakistan is 41235657, which is no doubt an aspiring human resource. However, Pakistan has to travel a long way to convert this manpower and proletariat class into a useful economic asset. The damming indictment in this regard is the lack of proper educational setup, flaws in technical education and providing meager amount of resources to boost the courage of this highly potential workforce.

In this sunset period, the hope is entirely diminished to bring this valuable stratum in the labour market which is proving itself to a liability for a nation.

The global employment report on youth 2015 unveils that, 66 percent of Pakistani young women and 12 percent men have neither got any job nor have any access to education and training. To further add fuel to the fire, around 49 percent of our young girls are victim of illiteracy and technically unskilled. This is the most crucial factors which hinders our youth to be transformed into an effective economic dividend. The lack of economic opportunities is aggravating the already dwindled situation and converting our resourceful youth into liability.

Nearly all the socio-economic troubles and worries are interlinked with this unprivileged and underutilized population of Pakistan. The economic deprivation has compelled has compelled the youth to fell victim of joining terrorist outfits due to which Pakistan has been facing serious conundrum in the face of terrorist attacks and religious riots. Pursuing this further, the large number of educated and technical population of youth has entirely failed to join the labour market. In the consequence, street crimes, robberies and other social evils are on the horizon. The youth is not only indulged in social immoral activities but also giving a hard blow to national exchequer in the form of heavy costs on economy.

The states which have touched the skyscrapers in the field of prosperity and development have prioritized education and invested extensively on the aforementioned sector. The states like Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore are extending huge capital their GDP for education to streamline their youth. On the other hand, it’s really unfortunate that Pakistan is spending a very minimum amount for educational enhancement and development. It is spending only 2.5 percent of GDP which is very low for a country like Pakistan where percent youth exists.

According to a survey conducted by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, in Pakistan 5.3 million non-going school children and 20 million are working as child labor. If appropriate steps are not taken timely to handle this exacerbating situation, a hope cannot be voiced for the bright future of Pakistan.

In the last resort, there are certain pragmatic suggestions which can potentially lesson the repercussions of this exasperating conundrum:

1) The first and the foremost is character building of our youth which is, no doubt, a prerequisite for going on the right direction;

2) This phenomenon emerges from cradle of the mother. The youth must possess the strong feeling of integrity and solidarity and these feelings can only be transformed through social apparatus in the nation builders;

3) Enabling employment is the significant parameter in order to rehabilitate the youth. They can be facilitated by offering them vocational programmes and effective skill development schemes. This will elevate the status of youth and improves their living standards;

4) The other useful mechanism to create employment is enhancing the field of entrepreneurship on the behalf of young cohorts;

5) Micro-financing is a potential tool for young ones to pump in the money into their enterprises. The government should also help the youth by providing them loans which will ultimately exterminate the unemployment and poverty from the society;

6) The first step towards practical and technical field is internship. The government should make a firm policy that all registered firms must grant internships to students to impart practical knowledge. This would ultimately inculcate the feelings of respectful earning;

7) The promotion of sports and extracurricular activities would not only make our youth physically fit but develop a sense of competency;

8) Last but not least, the government must commence the scheme for granting scholarships to talented and hardworking students of our society to vanish the evil of unemployment and poverty.

The writer is a freelance columnist based in Quetta.

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