Is Our Youth Disconcerted?: Zainab Ali Alvi

Youth is the main pillar of a state. It is the youth that leads the country in the future. It gives great teachers, doctors, scientists, designers, engineers and noteworthy individuals to a country. We get the reward in the future by investing in them today.

A state depends on its youth. And, if the youth is disconcerted, hopeless, and in a state of confusion then how will the country progress and take steps in the right direction?

In some countries, old people are in excess while in some countries youth is abundant. Due to the blessings of the Almighty in Pakistan youth is in great numbers. Pakistan is a young country with 64 percent of the population below the age of 30 years. It can be a great asset for Pakistan but unfortunately, it is not living up to its potential. According to the UNDP 2020 report, 29 percent of the youth in Pakistan is illiterate while only 6 percent has more than 12 years of education. Other than that, youth is facing several problems. For example, social, economic, and psychological. It is in a state of confusion and anxiety. But, the question is how do this helplessness and confusion develop?

The confusion starts from the very beginning of life. The social standards which are set for every human being that comes into this world pave the way for this confusion. For example, two or three choices are given to children in the early phase of their life. The problem is not with these professions or careers but the problem is that every child is not the same. As children grow older they develop different interests, desires, passions and talents and then they are able to decide what they want in their life.

Lack of choice creates confusion and discontentment. We can not blame parents for this confusion. They desire the best for us. These are the societal pressures that do not let the children choose professions of their interest and rather make them aspire for a lavish lifestyle, high social status and luxurious life.

Can every child become a doctor, engineer, pilot, CSP officer or Teacher? The answer is no.

Every individual is different with different personality types, traits, characteristics, interests and mindsets. Every person sees the world in its way. But when the pressures of society force them to adopt a reasonable profession it contradicts their interests and makes them disconcerted, confused and anxious. This anxiety stays with them the whole life. This confusion does not let them do anything beneficial for their country as they spend life like robots.

The other reason for this confusion is the lack of quality and skill-based education. Education should be purposeful and should develop an urge to learn among youth. It should be according to the needs of the time. It should be able to develop confidence in youth. It should develop innovation and courage to discover and invent something. It should develop optimism. It should be dynamic. It should emancipate youth.

But unfortunately, the lack of qualitative and skill-based education aggravate the problem. The main aim of going to educational institutions is to attain knowledge that is necessary for promotion to the next level. Education is not emancipating youth but rather indulging them in a race.

Moreover, poverty, a root cause of social evils, further creates confusion in our young generation. When underprivileged youth observes the difference in quality and standard of education it creates anxiety and resentment.

Similarly, because of increasing inflation, decreasing economic opportunities, and a class-based education system the poor parents do not send their children to school instead send them to work to make income as they do not see education making a difference. And because of the set social standards, they suffer from an inferiority complex.

Furthermore, many people are illiterate. They have no resources and opportunities to live and earn. Due to lack of opportunities, they are objective less, frustrated, and disappointed about the future so they transfer their frustration to the youth and disconcert them.

The failure of the government to create opportunities for the youth, lack of facilities and counselling environment, societal pressures and unemployment leads to uncertainty, helplessness, and confusion which leads to harmful acts like suicide. Even school going children have fallen prey to these pressures.

The government should take steps in this regard. There should be a unified educational system that ensures the same quality of education for all people. Illiterate and poor parents should realize the importance of education. The parents should also realise that every child is not the same. Every child is not meant to be a doctor or engineer. They should not impose their decisions on their children.

The government should come out with job plans and opportunities to reduce unemployment. There should be suicide prevention and counselling centres to save human life from such sinful acts. Education should be purposeful and should emancipate youth. It should take out youth from confusion and disconcertion. We all have to save our youth together. We have to save our young generation because they will take us to the heights of success and glory.