A series of nationwide education and training workshops for youth is beginning from Islamabad on Thursday, January 14th. The first part, a two-day long workshop to be held at the Margalla Hotel, will engage university students in a number of activities including dialogue on Pakistan’s religious and cultural diversity, career counseling, face-to-face meetup with successful and inspiring young people, and interactive sessions with noted scholars.
Organized by an Islamabad-based think-tank, Pak Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS), the workshops would start from Islamabad and will be held in different cities across the country this year. The purpose of this youth engagement drive is to educate and train Pakistan’s youths about their personal development and self-actualization as well as their progressive role in the processes of social transformation. This is particularly vital for a country like Pakistan, which is having a youth bulge but lacks an effective youth policy for channeling the young people’s energies positively. The national youth policies drafted by various governments in the past barely ever took off. Likewise, the education system is still off the mark in giving the students the right frame of mind and critical skills necessary both for the construction of a cohesive society and the youth’s success in the 21st-century job market. Therefore, any social intervention seeking a positive social change in Pakistan must engage the youth who account for about 64% of the population.
In this context, the workshops aim at giving university students an opportunity for skills development and intellectual growth by providing them a platform for the exchange of ideas and experiences and bringing them face to face with Pakistan’s noted scholars, journalists, social activists, etc. The students would also be sensitized about their constitutional rights and obligations as citizens and provided career counseling by professionals.