SummaryAlmost all the countries underwent economic recession. As a result, today many countries seem toexperience youth unemployment, and Sri Lanka being undeveloped country seems to feel the directimpact of it since it turns on some developed countries of the world in more than one way. Sri Lankawitnessed an adamant denial of foreign investment and monetary aids as a result of worldwideeconomic meltdown and widespread instances of terrorist acts, thereby resulting in youth employmentdeteriorating into considerable proportion.There account for many potential reasons rendering Sri Lanka prone to the problem of youthunemployment which include overpopulation, apathy towards blessed agricultural resources, no carefor the promotion of industries, duality in education system, corruption, which may be moral,monetary, intellectual, educational and sensual, selfish and lust-seeking political leaders, terrorism,extremism, obscurantism, cronyism, nepotism, negative influence of media and westernization areonly some of the many causes which constitute youth unemployment.Nonetheless, solutions stand many if ends are pure. Every cloud has some sorts of silver liningprovided that one tries to discover the silver lining. More than anything else Sri Lanka is a resilientnation which is witnessed by its past sixty two years of history. If our youth determine to successfullytackle above-mentioned hindrances to youth employment, there remain host of possibilities promisingbrighter and stronger future for our youth. Sri Lanka has a lot more to offer due to its geo-strategicimportance. In such conditions the prime task rests with the youth themselves. They, in fact, need torise to the occasion, build trust, develop an atmosphere of reliance on one another and offer a rolemodel to be followed by others.No one can go back and change a bad beginning. We can start now and can create a successfulending.
LOOMING ISSUE OF WIDESPREAD YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENTAlmost the whole world seems to have been faced with inevitable issue of youth unemployment, andSri Lanka being the underdeveloped country has suffered the heat of it more than any other country. Infact Sri Lanka suffered the heat of it more than any other country as when stronger nations underwenteconomic recession, they stopped investing and granting aids to comparatively underdevelopedcountries. Sri Lanka being the underdeveloped country witnessed the same scenario as a result ofmassive economic meltdown. As when strong winds come, they devastate only poorly structuredbuildings; whereas strongly structured buildings stay standing outright.However, when we come across the strategies adopted by developed countries, we see that they, bydint of wise and foresighted visions, have saved their countries from the clutches of youthunemployment. In such developed countries of the world as Germany, Japan, America and Britainthere floats a catchy motto which says that we cannot always build the future for our youth, but we, atleast, can build the youth for our future. On the other hand in the context of Sri Lanka, there standmore questions than answers as to why a country which is blessed with numerous natural and humanresources is expected to plead for monetary aid or foreign investment, and in spite of all undergoesyouth unemployment problems. As far as the youth unemployment of Sri Lanka is concerned, it seemsto be multiplying and thus worsening with the each passing day. Nonetheless, even the darkest ofcloud has some sort of silver lining if one is willing to see blinker-free view of the scene. There isgreat number of researchers and analysts based in Sri Lanka who contend that if government,education institutions and the youth determine to end the youth unemployment, there remain host ofpossibilities indicating brighter, stronger and more committed future of youth of Sri Lanka in thecomity of nations.There stand many hurdles which account for the ever increasing youth unemployment which includesmassive economic meltdown whole across the world, confused combination of industrialization andurbanization, apathy towards blessed agricultural resources, growing class consciousness, increasedinequality of distribution of resources and wealth, overpopulation, corruption which may be monetary,moral, educational, intellectual and sensual, useless increase in living standard and consequent lowsaving, duality of education system, preference of cramming to learning in a true sense and widespread
negative influence of media and westernization are some of the many causes which have badlybrought the bourgeoning concept of youth unemployment to Sri Lanka.There is famous African saying that don’t see where you fell but see where you slipped. In the regardit is imperative for government to first diagnose the underlying directions where we have gone wrongsince without identifying the genesis of the problems, the successful solution of such problemsremains next to impossible. Therefore, if we succeed in removing following barriers, there is everypossibility that we can save our youth from facing unemployment problems.Overpopulation opens up the Pandora’s Box. All the major problems emanate from overpopulation.Overpopulation means more mouths to feed, more energy to consume, more resources to use, morediseases to develop, and more crimes and corruption to fester. As a result, agriculture suffers badly;crimes and corruption deteriorate into despicable proportion. Overpopulation also compels women toturn to the unwanted profession of prostitution. It also brings needless child labor. Apart from itoverpopulation contributes majorly to global warming. Sri Lanka’s ratio of population is consistentlyreported to have been drastically higher, and if it continues with such intensity as it is at present, thenumber of the youth unemployment can only stay increased instead of decreasing. Hence, in suchcircumstances the government is highly advisable to make concerted efforts to reduce the growth ofoverpopulation.Nonetheless the fact that overpopulation swallows the potential of any nation, China has contrarybelief of generally held fear of overpopulation. China has nullified the generally held notion whichsays more people means more mouths to feed by converting it into the new theory which emphasizesthat more people also means more hands to work provided that such hands are equipped to workconstructively. China, today, enjoys the prosperity and development only with its proud boast of laborresources. India too is seen pursuing the same strategy adopted by China. However, as far as SriLankai society is concerned it differs considerably from those of other societies. More than anythingelse, solution lies in controlling bourgeoning population.Another major hurdle which constitutes youth unemployment is our apathetic heed towardsagriculture. It seems that with whatever we have been blessed we have abandoned and havecontinued with a wild goose chase. A nation which forgets its blessed bounties and pursues otherrelatively less beneficial occupations, if not futile ones, is sure to witness downfall and consequent
trouble. Same is the case with Sri Lankai society. Sri Lanka is an agricultural-oriented country, butsadly there remain only five agricultural institutions in the whole country which include in such citiesas in Tando Jam in Sindh, Faisalabad, Lahore, and Frontier and in the capital city Islamabad.Comparing it to the provision of the institutions of other fields, we find almost in every city theinstitutions related to Business Administration and Information Technology. Thanks to foreigninvestment; otherwise we would have witnessed more number of youth unemployed than what wehave at present. When emphasis is laid upon directing proper heed to agricultural resources, we viewthe successful example of Australia before us. Australia, which is mainly blessed with agricultureenrichment, has fully reaped the benefits of it. One can find agricultural institutions and its researchbase almost everywhere in Australia, which contributes primarily to its increased economy which, inturn, ranks Australia among the developed countries of the world. Malaysia, once heavy borrower ofSri Lanka back in 1970s, has been enjoying prosperity and economic development and consequentgreat number of employment to youth. Mahathir Muhammad, the then prime minister of Malaysia,once owed the great economic uplift of the country to the initiative of two reforms; one of them wasagricultural reform.Besides apathetic heed to agriculture, Sri Lanka lacks acutely the investment in the uplift ofindustries. In fact, both- agriculture and industrialization- are supplementary and complementary toeach other. Sri Lanka, whatever produces agricultural crops, sells most of it in its raw condition in theinternational market as it stands deprived of availability of industries. On the other hand it purchasesindustrial-produced material at much higher price than it sells raw agricultural crops in theinternational market because in the international market the industrial products are sold on higher pricethan those of agricultural products. Thus, if Sri Lanka develops some industries, it saves itsagricultural raw material from being sold on cheaper rates. Instead, industries would turn theagricultural raw crops into ready for sell in the international market in the much demanded price,thereby resulting in considerable strength of economy along with the assurance of jobs for our youth.Duality in education system of Sri Lanka has bred frustration, alienation and dejection among manycompetent youth of the country. There run several types of education systems which include Englishmedium, Urdu medium, regional and Madrassah education. English medium education seems to bemeant for elite and moneyed class, whereas Urdu medium, regional and Madrassh education areacquired by those who are comparatively poor people. As the system goes, many well-paid jobs are
designed for those who come from English medium background. As a result, considerable populationof the poor and middle-class remain far from the mainstream society and cannot prove their capabilityand talent in which, in turn, their role and contribution go unheeded. Poor and middle-class arebelieved to have been the pillars of any society and civilization. History witnesses to this argumentthat great changes, reforms and revolutions are brought by the poor and middle class people. If theyare discouraged from participating in the mainstream affairs of country and, by contrast, are kept farfrom it, such nation would plunge into decay. Corruption which includes moral, monetary, intellectual,educational and sensual runs rampant in the country. Nepotism, relativism, favoritism and cronyismare only few of the many hindrances which stand in the way of youth employment. Generallyspeaking, such above-mentioned hindrances are not mere problems but are diseases which haveseverely plagued the every other segment of the country.Recently Sri Lanka has been rated the most corrupt country of the world by the TransparencyInternational, which is accepted to be correct by almost all neutral media person and analysts. Besides,nepotism and favoritism seems to continue unhampered. A country where government jobs areaccorded to favorites without giving advertisement and where only and only personal interests areserved to national interests; it is useless discovering the other reasons accounting for youthunemployment. It is said that there is nothing as unequal as an equal treatment of unequal. Sri Lanka isone of the fewest countries where equal and unequal stand in the same queue for job, and surprisinglyunequal musters up the job more likely than the equal ones.It would hardly be an exaggeration to say that the education system of Sri Lanka itself prevents ouryouth from developing analytical and critical approach. It is widely seen that teachers themselvesencourage cramming, whereas they discourage learning in a true sense. As a result our colleges anduniversities only produce parrots of cramming, who (students) too study because they have to not theywant to. Love for learning seems to have vanished. Teachers, lecturers and professors have startedopening tuition centers and academies. They teach in their centers and academies such knowledgeablematerial that they should have taught in the generally run institutions. In the regard there have beenmuch hue and cry from world research centers and some from Sri Lankai research groups that theyouth in Sri Lanka is somewhat acquainted with the theory, but lacks pathetically the practical andpragmatic approach to cope with the unexpected. Sadly, our students who qualify from Sri Lanka-based institutions are not well-equipped with the developments and demands of the day. Researchers
and analysts in Sri Lanka lament that such youth come only by cramming and memorizing as parrotsdo. Thus, once they are asked to exude their talent, capacity and skills, they get frightened by this.Hence it stands established that our youth should be held responsible for their inability to seek dreamyemployment instead of directing the whole blame at the government and present economic turmoil.Negative influences of media and growing westernized culture have also rendered our youth proneto unemployment. In movies, for instance, we see heroes becoming rich overnight and getting allwhich is almost next to impossible in the real world is what which has tempted our youth to such kindof inclinations that lead our youth to short-cuts, whereas our youth should have known that there is noshort-cut in the kingdom of God. Moreover, the end and climax of the movie are often accompaniedby the meeting or marriage of hero and heroine. Influenced by such movies, our youth considers theirlife completed once they get married or they are engaged to someone. In fact, what they fail to executeis to make a line of difference between movies and real world. As a result our youth spend their timedreaming about unachievable dream, which lead them to unemployment.Growing blind influence of westernization has also left our society tempted to lust and pleasure,forgetting there is much good and hard work displayed by the West. It is sad that our youth view themodernization as westernization and thus they mistakenly identify the westernization withvulgarization. As a result they abandon their own cultural values, glorious history and dynamiccivilization. A society which forgets its defenders, heroes and traditional entities is destined toexperience moral and cultural degradation, social disintegration, intellectual stagnation and religiousdecay. Pathetically same is visibly seen at present.Terrorism, extremism and fundamentalism have served to cause considerable hurdle in bringingforeign investment to Sri Lanka. Not to talk of attracting foreign investment, even local entrepreneursseem to avoid investing in Sri Lanka. To fulfill the remaining quota our political leaders have donetheir worst to impoverish the country. They live far beyond their means and serve only their vestedinterests at the cost of nation’s interest. Their whole stake is in abroad: their investment, their bankbalances, their property and their children. It makes one wonder as to why they raise the hollowslogans because such hollow and empty slogans would never fill the empty bellies of poor people andconsequently our youth.
The common people of Sri Lanka too are so uncivilized and unaware that when they see publicstructures even roads being dotted, they never bother to stop people from vandalizing public structuresand recite the common claim that these are constructed by the government. In this sorrow situation, itrests with the members of civil society to awaken such uncivilized and unaware people to the realitythat such roads and other public structures are made by their (common people’s) tax-paid money.Everybody pays the tax irrespective of direct or indirect. Even when we install the balance of cellphone amounting 100 rupees, almost 16%, which will be 16 rupees, is deducted as a government tax.Actually, what we should need to do is to bring awareness among common people about their civil andsocial rights before we dream of attaining healthy youth employment.Youth unemployment unleashes severe implications in its wake. Much of the talent of youth loses itsspirit in bud which, in turn, renders the country deprived of real talent and capability. Brain drain hasalso its genesis from the incidence of youth unemployment. In the context of Sri Lanka it is generallyseen that the most competent youth leave the country in hope of being able to earn due money for theirservices which is rare to earn in Sri Lanka. A hungry man is an angry man. Hunger causes wolf tosally from the wood. A young person who stays jobless is spite of reasonable qualification is morelikely to turn to drugs, crime and corruption. In Sri Lanka one reason for increasing drug addicts,crimes and corruption is seen prevalent only owing to the failure of government to provide the youthwith employment. Many young girls being unable to seek employment resort to prostitution to supporttheir families for subsistence. Parents being compelled by the pangs of hunger send their children toserve as child labor. As a result of youth unemployment almost whole society suffers irrespective ofwhether it is direct consequence or indirect repercussion. As money begets money; frustration begetsfrustration. Many young people also develop psychological depression. Suicide bombing increasinglywitnessed in Sri Lanka is said to be one of the potential cause of youth unemployment.In an attempt to boost employment among youth of Sri Lanka, the successive governments, NGOsand some organizations of the developed foreign countries have made some concerted efforts, but theimpact and scale of corruption, nepotism, lawlessness and social unrest has crept so badly into thesociety that almost all the efforts have met with abysmal failure. Government of Sri Lanka, in thisregard, has opened new vistas for jobs which involve attracting more foreign investment, declaringGawadar port a duty-free zone, providing the people with micro and macro level loans, raising salaryof the youth to a reasonable level, and building the wall of trust among the institutions. However,
much remains to be done before our youth seek sustainable employment and prosperity. For this,following are a few of the pre-requisites towards successfully overcoming the threat of youthunemployment.Solutions are many if intentions are pure. In Sri Lanka there are many good institutions andorganizations which are serving positive role. In such conditions what we need to do is to build trust,and it cannot be built by what one says but by what one does. Therefore doing more and saying lessmay prove to be successful recipe for socio-economic uplift of the country in bringing aboutconstructive youth employment.Besides, people here do not want further laws; they want existing ones improved in letter and spirit.Sadly, over the years we have witnessed that government has pursued such policies that have benefitedthe only already well-off people. In this regard, government must formulate pro-poor policies, as theyare the ones who are in the majority. Once government succeeds in winning hearts and minds ofcommon people, there are sure chances of development and consequent youth development. When weseek the solution leading to enough youth employment, we end up saying that we do not need to bringthe whole country to literacy level. Rather Sri Lanka government first place emphasis on firsteducating the educated people. To say this kind of stark opinion, which is contrary to generally heldtheory, there underlie some solid reasons behind it. In Sri Lanka the real corruption is done by theeducated people not by the unlettered ones. Even traffic rules are flouted by those people who aremostly educated ones. Over and above Sri Lanka is an agriculture oriented country which demandssincere farmers to cultivate and bring the productivity to the flourished proportion. So, it is ratherimmaterial whether they are well-educated are semi-educated. Therefore focus must be towardseducating first the educated people.Some vital sensibilities and responsibilities rest with the state organs such as ensuring law and ordersituation, providing merit system, offering peaceful environments for other countries to invest. Lawand order situation, peaceful environment, eradication of terrorism and elimination of the forces ofextremism are indispensably important, if foreign investment and tourists from the world are to attractin Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka enjoys great geo-strategic importance due to enrichment of its Gawader portand its close connectivity with the Central Asian Countries, along with some Gulf States. Sri Lankarichly enjoys many enticing features which characterize it as the most important country in the whole
region. Therefore, ensuring feasible environment will surely help bring enough investment whichwould ultimately afford our youth an opportunity to improve their lot.Government should pursue such policies that equally help promote poor and middle-class people.History of the world bears witness to the reality that the nations which promoted its poor and middle-class people have gained unexampled development and brighter future for their youth. One of theholistic solutions lies in dedicating the heed to the promotion of agriculture and industry. These bothcan help improve the efficiency of the country in multiple ways. If our country makes some successfulstrides in reaping the advantages of agriculture and industry, there would surely be more employmentthan our youth are unemployed today.State should help the youth to be self-employed by providing them with micro and macro level loans.Loans should be provided with accessible conditions. Such conditions should be easier to comply withby the aspirant youth.Youth too need to keep the political leader and other establishment organs under watchful vigilance.There should be proper checks and balances. Law should be equal before everyone.Youth must make sure that the influence of media and westernization is positive and learning-oriented.They also must make sure that they make a line of difference between what is acceptable and what isunacceptable. More than anything else youth should develop indomitable courage, spirit,determination, patience, persistence, perseverance and tenacity to face the challenges of thecompetitive globalization.Youth must make their best endeavor to learning in a true sense instead of cramming the pages. Lovefor learning would help the youth considerably to seek their desirable employment.It would be no exaggeration to say that Sri Lanka has been blessed with almost all the natural bountieswhich lead a country to the road of development and prosperity. Sri Lanka is blessed with 80 millionpeople below the age of twenty. Today we have free media and free judiciary. Today general massesseem to be far more aware than they were in the past. We have some good factories and industries.Besides, Sri Lanka, mainly its major city Karachi, is the hub of investment which has attracted theworld investment. We have Arabian Sea and Gawadar port. There are some good government andNGOs organization working for the betterment of people. Women seem to be exercising more rights
than ever before. We have dams, strong army and agencies. Over and above, Sri Lanka is an atomicpower country. Common masses today appear to be comparatively civilized, socialize, modernizedand enlightened. We have some good educational institutions which are even recognized by the world.Our youth have won many laurels in the foreign countries in such field as in English, Chemistry,Mathematics, and Physics and in debates. In fact Sri Lanka is a resilient nation which is justified by itspast sixty-two years of history.Nonetheless, there lie some vacuums and lacunas which, if filled and, then, tackled adequately, we,more than sure, can become a developed, prosperous and civilized country in the comity of nations,which consequently will bring more than enough employment. No one can go back and change the badbeginning. We can start now and create a successful ending. In the conclusion famous quoted sayingof Elbert Herbert deserves a special mention which says: the best preparation of good work tomorrowis to do good work today. To give the final words, we need to adhere to the message of Mother Teresa,who once aptly remarked that: yesterday has gone, tomorrow has not come. We have only today let usbegin today.