Living in the fast-paced technological world, it’s been very hard for the young graduates to make their mark in the job market. The reason behind their unemployment and failure in pursuing professional career could be the untaken of practical exposure, and technical and critical thinking skills.
Critical thinking and technical skills are very important to make good decisions, understand the consequences of actions, using focus and self-control to solve problems and set and follow through on goals.
The curricula, through which students have been gone through before coming to the universities is been the theoretical rather than practical where the race of getting more marks and percentage is on top instead of learning course study. Such students failed to maintain their score at universities as they don’t have the enough thinking, analyzing and presentation skills. These are some core reasons of the unemployment in Pakistan because students lack professional technical and critical thinking skills to be fitted in the job market.
According to UN Population Fund Report 2017, Pakistan is considered to be the fifth largest young country in the world with its 63 percent population of the country comprises youth aged between 15 and 33. Such a large young population has posed daunting challenges to the social, economic and political sectors of the state.
According to the Global Youth Development Index published by the Commonwealth, a measure which uses the domains of civic participation, education, employment and opportunity, health and well-being, and political participation to gauge the progress of young people, Pakistan ranked at 154th of 183 countries.
As per the data available on the World Education Services website, In Pakistan, among 39% employed youth, only 2% are women. On the other hand among 61% unemployed youth, only 2% men and women are seeking jobs while 57% including 41% women and 16% men are not looking for job.
A study published by the European Journal of Educational Research a research on ‘Developing Critical Thinking Skills in Students: A Mandate for Higher Education’ revealed that issues higher education institutions could be re-organized in such a manner that critical thinking skills could be imbued in the young learners, in order to make them problem solvers, thereby becomes asset rather than liabilities to the nation.
In recent years, some of Pakistani universities followed the global trends and adopted modern methods of teaching, examination and administration. Among many, Sargodha University has gained reputation through its reformist agenda of knowledge sharing, capacity building, academic linkages, enhancing teaching and research profile along with youth engagement in leadership and bridging skills gap.
To play a key role in the national economic development, the students were not imparted by the market oriented curricula but also with critical and problem solving skills through organizing annual based literary festivals, national and international conferences, seminars, symposiums and workshops. It help producing graduates having thinking and innovation skills to become more employable in the national and global job markets and also offer vital services to their surrounding communities.
The University’s E-Rozgar, Incubation, and Career Development Center are providing students with the skills and trainings to compete in increasingly global workplaces. Now, many of them are major employers earing millions and boosting innovation in their surroundings, and their very presence has a direct economic effect.
Keeping in view the importance of CPEC, the Pakistan Institute of China Studies was established at the University to strengthen people to people contact, introduce and promote Chinese language and culture, and more importantly preparing youth by imparting essential skills, aligned with the objectives of Pak-China comprehensive cooperation and construction of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Several academic collaborations agreement have been concluded with national and international institutions, Industries and Chamber of Commerce including leading agriculture universities of China in precision agriculture, citrus and sugarcane research and dry land agriculture.
Ethics policy was introduced to inculcate culture, values and civic sense among students, and wean them away from extremism. Keeping in view the same an additional subject “Citizenship Education and Community Engagement” has been included in all disciplines.
In 2017, the Global Human Capital Index, which measures how well countries develop their human capital, ranked Pakistan 125th out of 130 countries, representing 93 percent of the world’s population.
The universities being the manufacturer of human capital should have to come forward to address unemployment and produce a workforce capable of driving economic development. There is dire need to follow the modern methods of teaching and learning including market oriented curricula, formal and informal trainings, technical skills and trainings in order to nurture the human resources needed for the development of a modern knowledge-based economy.
Our policy makers and the educational institutions have to think about redesigning the curricula from school to university level in order to provide maximum of the professional and practical exposure of the courses along with the critical and technical skills, so they can better play their role in job market and could add their part in national economic development.
The writer is a media practitioner having academic expertise in Mass Communication.