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Vulnerable Educated Youth in Chitral

Ghani ur Rehman, Lecturer in Economics, Government College Chitral
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ghaniur rehman lecturer gdc Chitral According to data provided by Government and other Organizations, District Chitral is comparatively at higher position with regard to literacy rate, as compared to the rest of KPK. Improvement in literacy rate both among male and female population is mostly the direct result of private sector intervention in the education sector, from primary to graduation level. There are about 50 colleges working in various far-flung valleys of Chitral, where government would never establish college even for the coming hundred years. But private sector took the responsibility, and facilitated local community in the remote valleys of Laspure, Yarkhoon, Lotkuh, Torkhow and Mulkhow by establishing community based private schools and private colleges which are imparting education to local community in return for affordable fees. Besides private sector, Government of KPK is also trying its best to improve literacy rate and education in whole province as well as in Chitral. Within a span of two years campuses of two public sector Universities have been established in District Chitral, to promote higher education in the district. Literacy rate among female population is also increasing by leap and bound, and various segments among government departments and NGOs try to take credit of this situation and correlate the phenomenon to their sincere efforts in promoting education in District Chitral.

In the near future literacy rate will be near 100% in Chitral, if private sector as well as government education department continued their efforts in educating children and youth in the district. In the whole scenario of literacy promotion and spreading education drive none of the stakeholders has ever thought of the simple notion that what value they are adding to target group (community) through their existing system of education. Education is basic right of every citizen of the country under the charters of UNO, Constitution of Pakistan and many more international agreements and charters. It is also pertinent to mention here that education develop certain type of behavioral change, positivity and improve value of the target group in the market as compared to illiterate person. In the context of Chitral it presents a totally different picture which poses serious threat to the future of Education in Chitral. Now we are living in market economy where market decides the destiny of a nation, not to speak of individual persons. The time of military might has gone and replaced by economic strength, and those countries having strong economic power are ruling the whole world. China is the best example before us which is controlling entire world by the forces of markets.

Irony of fat is that our education system both private and government, totally failed in adding quality among new generation through education, and converting people from illiterate to literate group. If education does not incorporate market requirement in the system it will lose its value with the passage of time, which we are witnessing in Chitral. I have conducted short survey in Chitral to get information about market value of our educated youth and also to evaluate boastful claim of Government and NGOs, that they have promoted education in Chitral. Purpose of the study was evaluating market value of present education system and its impact on socio-economic life of community members in Chitral.

Target Group was taken on random basis both from Chitral town and rural areas for this study. Findings of this study present a very interesting situation for those people working in private and government education sector, that how much value they are adding to the target group through existing education system. It is also eye opening opportunity for development actors and NGOs working in the field of education that the product which they are generating in the society, in the name of educated class are how much vulnerable in the market and how much detrimental to future peace and harmony in Chitral. Finding of the survey is presented in the table below.

Besides income of labor, various other indicators are also considered in evaluating quality of man power, which is mentioned briefly in the given lines.

  1. Bargaining power of labor
  2. Substitute Opportunities available
  3. Exploitation by the Employer
  4. Working Hours Duration etc.

1. Bargaining Power of Labor:

In this survey it has been evaluated that bargaining power of educated work force is comparatively weak as compared to their illiterate counter parts. Usually a few highly qualified candidates get employment in limited opportunities available in education, Health and other Non-Government Organizations, as well as in military or police service. Remaining and majority educated work force look for employment in private schools and colleges. In these institutions, they are paid very negligible amount in term of salary. These people are completely at the mercy of their employer and if they are not paid their salary they could not dare to demand their salary from owner of the institution, which reflects how bargaining power of educated work force is weak in Chitral as well as other parts of the country. In case of illiterate work force, who are doing manual labor, not only get handsome daily wage but they are also fed by the employer. In Chitral illiterate work force is so short that some time people want to pay even Rs. 500/= on daily basis besides other benefits. Bargaining power of illiterate work force is also very high in Chitral and they settle their daily wage under their own terms and conditions.

2. Substitute Opportunities available:

Another indicator set in this survey was availability of substitute working opportunity with the labor force in case of end of present employment. This indicator also favors illiterate work force comparing to educated youth. Illiterate work force can do work in various places according to the level of wage and other benefits. But educated group lack that facility and especially teachers working in private school and colleges are so paranoid that they could carry out any other business or income generating venture instead of the job of teaching at the rate of negligible remuneration.

3. Exploitation of the Employer:

Although educated work force should be aware of their rights and responsibilities in order to cater exploitation of their employer. But that case is also missing in the context of Chitral. It has been found that many educated youth are working in many organizations below the subsistence level, but they do not have the courage to claim their rights from their employer. On the other hand illiterate work force is more vigorous to get their genuine demand from employer and even dare to leave the job in protest of their demand.

4. Duration of Working Hours:

Duration of working hours is also good indicator in determining condition of labor force. In this survey it has been observed that Educated Youth are working more time than their illiterate counterparts even for fewer wages. Especially in known financial institutions and banks educated youth are working for the last many years but still get salary below the skilled labor like Mason, and Plumber. Post Graduate Degree Holders and Professionally educated youth are also getting much less average salary than skilled illiterate labor, which presents how useless stuff our education sector is producing in the present days. In many private organizations educated youth work more than the 8 hours at below the minimum wage level.

Under this circumstance it is very crucial moment for all stakeholders to think over the situation that in the name of education and improving literacy rate what type of human resource is developed by present educational system in Chitral and rest of Pakistan. If market value of graduate and post- graduate is below the illiterate labor under present market requirement besides other indicators which also favor illiterate, then our education system both private and government has badly failed to develop human resource under present market requirements. The situation is very serious in case of female education. Traditionally, the women in Chitral have been contributing much to the economy in terms of productivity, apart from managing the household. Usually in Chitral rearing of poultry, producing milk for domestic consumption as well as keeping kitchen garden for growing fruits and vegetables were mostly regarded areas of women intervention even in the near past. With mushrooming of private educational institution and increasing so-called education and literacy, women contribution in household management abysmally reduced. If present educated girls are compared with illiterate girls, the former is comparatively more vulnerable to poverty and resourcelessness due to the qualities, which lack for survival in present day market. Usually girls prefer to get job in government education department where only 10-20 positions of teachers are available for more than 4000 trained applicants for various category of teaching that is PTC, CT, AT and TT etc on annual basis. These 20 fortunate candidates get job and perform duties in government schools while remaining 3980 candidates leave their far-flung villages after castigating government. Educated girls also contribute nothing in rural economy as compared to their illiterate counterparts in productive and income generating activities, like kitchen gardening, poultry management etc, at household level and look for job only in school and education department for long time period, where they have no chance due to limited positions and growing of educated girls on annual basis. After long and pains taking waiting they develop psychological problem and number of suicide case among girls increasing in Chitral, which also has relationship with this un-productive education system prevailing in Chitral. In some cases educated girls also get job in private school where they are selected teacher at such humiliating wage rate which is not worthy to mention here. Hence it is very said to say that present education has become liability for people instead of building personality, skill development and providing wide opportunities for educated youth. Purpose of education should be improvement in working skill of educated class in comparison to illiterate group, but here the case is totally different, and educated youths (Girls/Boys) are involved in psychological complexes, and they hesitate to do any type of productive manual work or business venture instead they want to become babu in government office or teacher in government school. If these educated youth are involved in productive activities in more refined and sophisticated manner their level of productivity would be high and they also apply modern technique in the production process for increasing output and reducing cost. Comparing to illiterate, educated girls will give more productive result if they adopt other productive services which are traditionally inherited in the economy instead of waiting for teaching post or service in health sector which is considered far-cry for them. But unfortunately in imparting education to the young generation at Schools, Colleges as well as in universities they have been severely exposed to the so- called VIP Culture and tradition. Hence after getting education young generation desire to get high profile VIP type job instead of looking for profitable venture due to the inbuilt psychological complex which are developed among young generation in the institutions from which they are educated. Another problem with our educational institution is that they are not developing their curriculum and other academic materials according to market requirements rather they are bent upon the primitive method which has no relevancy with demand of market. As a result market value of our graduate is less than the illiterate work force who is often conducting manual labor.

Despondency among Young Generation

This grim situation that is producing use-less work force in the garb of educated class, becomes a serious socio-economic problem in Chitral. Having limited opportunities and high aspiration our educated youth are more vulnerable than illiterate group and they will become soft prey to militant organizations in the volatile region of Malakand and neighboring Afghanistan. Recently a news in the press developed serious security threat at national level, when persons from Chitral numbering 8 have been recruited in Afghan Army, after disappointment from present joblessness in Chitral. It is feared that such type of incidences will increase in near future, if corrective measures are not taken well in time, instead of banning such recruitment through using district administration. Because Chitral has porous borders with Afghanistan, it is impossible to seal entire border to control such problems by administrative measures. Frequent incidences of suicides among educated girls also reflect despondency among girls, having strong link with our un-productive education system in Chitral. Stakeholders are requested not to be boastful in their claim that Chitral is heading other district in literacy rate and education, rather they should think hundred times that what quality of work force they are producing in Chitral in the garb of Education. If educated youth is more vulnerable comparing to illiterate counterpart then what objective we are going to achieve from present education system.

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