Need to produce technologists

YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT in Pakistan is reaching epidemic proportions. Some estimates put it as high as 35 per cent, however, the real number may well be higher. This is not a simple problem that can be fixed by making a policy here or there. It requires a coordinated approach. This includes education and training, managing and modifying social norms and expectations, and adjustments in industrial and trade policies. In the absence of these reforms, the blue-collar class would be having a darker future further burdening the national economy. With the information revolution the Western nations have moved towards a service and white collar economy while many manufacturing jobs have been outsourced to developing nations which pay their workers lower wages. This trend has pushed formerly agrarian nations to industrialized economies and concurrently decreased the number of blue-collar jobs in developed countries. In Pakistan, the governments policies focus only producing engineers, doctors and lawyers with the ever-increasing number of universities in both public and private sectors. While on the other hand, the authorities regrettably have ignored the vitality and significant role and potential of technologists equally required to achieve national economic growth. According to a modern times definition of a nations economic stability, every individual should have some skill and should play a constructive role in the national mainstream activities. The developed nations besides focusing more on producing professionals have also concentrated to producing an equal number of technologists to complete the work cycle needed to secure progress in all development sectors. Regrettably, the university education in Pakistan is a different ball game. Our aim is to bring excellence to university education. This means that only the best and brightest will have the opportunity to go to university. We cannot have a society in which everyone is a BA or MA, resultantly these degrees are fast losing their significance. The main responsibility of this negative situation lies with the national policy makers who need to adapt to the fast moving trends of modern world of progress. The more technical institutes are established the more technicians would be produced thus filling gap in the achieving the national development. This is worth noting here that stigmatization of blue-collar workers in our society makes implementing a programme where children are divided into two streams – university and technical – very difficult. Children, and more so their parents, resist because they see a technical education as socially inferior and undesirable. Currently, our university and polytechnic institute ratio is an upset as the number of our science and technology universities is increasing against the lesser number of polytechnic institutes across Pakistan. The government is supposed to aggressively develop institutions of technical learning as alternative to university education so that targets of national progress are met.

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