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Youth Factor in Pakistan's Perspective

June 06, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 276

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945), former American president, once said "We can't always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for future." Pakistan is a young country indeed. According to Federal Youth Policy (2008), people in the age group of 15-29 years are taken as young population in Pakistan. The youth is the most valuable asset for a country's sustainable socio-economic, cultural and political development but in Pakistan, youth is professed to be a problem rather than a resource to be developed. UNDP's report points out that the proportion of people under the age of 30 years is 68% of the total population of the country from which 37% youth is illiterate, 71% of youth doesn't receive career counseling at school, 28% finds curriculum irrelevant to the job market, 47% don't have sports facilities in their localities and 23% youth want to start their own business but not supported at all.

After the approval of 18th amendment to constitution in 2010 there is no coherent body for the promotion of youth activities as the Ministry of Youth Affairs (MOYA) has been abolished. Now, the responsibilities of caring after the youth have been transferred from centre to provinces. But the cherry on the cake is that the Punjab is the only province which introduced its first ever youth policy comprising three main pillars: Social, Economic and Political Empowerment of Youth. Punjab government is praiseworthy for its ground-breaking initiatives for youth empowerment like Punjab Educational Endowment Fund, Yellow-Cab, Micro Financing and award of free Lap-tops to students.

According to my viewpoint, after the completion of formal education, the youth have to strive for economic efficacy and be prepared to play a positive role in country's politics. It's the only way to break the status quo and bring sustainable change through the execution of rational policies while being the part of policy making process. For this very reason, they have to be equipped with entrepreneurial and leadership skills. There is no dearth of talent in Pakistan. The only thing is to streamline the efforts.

At first place, the role of our higher learning institutes where the mentors themselves are indulge in bootlegging, is so feeble in this regard. There is want of futuristic perspective in erudition process. Conventional 'Parrot-like-Ratta' system still prevails. That's why people graduating from most of the universities lack in such type of SKAO's and out of the box thinking which are well thought-out characteristics of thriving entrepreneurs. A massive transformation is needed in current curricula and assessment criteria.

Gone are the days when the dogma 'leaders are born; not made' was so popular. Now leadership skills can be learned and youth must go for it. There is no representation of the youth in assemblies. One wonders how policies can become successful which are chalked out without the consent and participation of 68% of the population (the youth)?

Quite to the contrary, the youth segment of our society has never been involved in the heart-core politics for the last three decades due to the imposition of Martial law by General Zia-ul-Haq. The student unions were banned which believed to be the nurseries of politics and leadership. Before that there were several student leaders who rose to fame when they entered in the mainstream politics to name a few Makhdum Javed Hashmi, Sh. Rasheed, Jahangir Badar, Liaquat Baloch etc.

Even if we go back to the pre-partition era, the MSF, the student wing of All India Muslim League (AIML) paid a significant contribution to level the ground for the cause of Pakistan. Unfortunately, in the decades of 80's and 90's and even in the first decade of the current century, youths' detachment from country's politics gave an opportunity to the myopias and other powerful sanctions of the society to dominate the scene in which common man as well as the youth had nothing to do.

Yet after 64 years of autonomy, it has never happened that all the electorates exercised their power of vote. If vote is youths' right then to cast it is their prime responsibility to support, promote and fortify the egalitarian progression with its spot on fortitude. The Pakistani youth, though kept cursing the political cream-of-the-crop for what they called 'the dirty politics' but shy away to play any active role in the politics. However, the organizations, like Youth Parliament of Pakistan (YPP) are playing their noteworthy role for this paradigm shift through training and development of the youth.

But just development is not enough. We necessitate Positive Youth Development (PYD) which is based on 5 C's introduced by Richard M. Lerner including competence, confidence, connection, character and care. Young people whose lives incorporated with these 5 C's would be on a development path that demonstrates a 6th 'C-Contribution to self, family, community and the institutions of civil society.

Being the fresh blood, the youth of any society has the mushrooming ability to outshine and infuse new ideas in the democratic process to make it tuneful and harmonious with the contemporary needs of any age. It is the need of the hour that the government and civil society should join hands together to invest in positive youth development activities so that the dream of a brighter and progressive Pakistan can turn out to be reality in the foreseeable future.

Source: EzineArticles
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