In Pakistan unemployment, among IT graduates are often heard. While Dr. Umar Saif, VC of IT University, claimed that there is a shortage of IT experts in Pakistan.
The reason behind this shortage is that IT graduates do not have certain skills like critical thinking. Unfortunately, majority of university graduates and school students in Pakistan do not have critical thinking. The creation of a well informed and critical workforce is stopped by a system of rote learning in our schools.
We should learn lessons from pluralistic Muslim countries such as Malaysia. The late prime minister of Singapore Lee Kaun Yew in his book ‘From Third World to the First World’ called Mahathir Mohamad the best ‘Malaysian leader’. Lee said that Malaysia has been modernized by Mahathir. Malaysia moves away from traditionalism and towards becoming a tolerant, peaceful country because Mahathir has emphasized on science, especially computer science.
In Pakistan especially, Punjab is following the same thing. Punjab Information Technology Board, headed by the dynamic and industrious Dr. Umar Saif, Plan 9, Pakistan’s version of Silicon Valley, has become highly active. It is the idea of Dr. Umar Saif.
Pakistan is facing two challenges in this regard. While universities, academia, and industry collaborate on Plan 9, venture capitalism is missing. Investment mindset is the other challenge that is faced in this regard. Businessmen invest in textiles and real states but not in IT industry.
Pakistani expatriates for the short term can help plug this gap. Most overseas expatriates can become drivers of an economic transformation in Pakistan and much better understanding of technology than that of local businessmen. The only need is the secure investment framework in technology.
The investment mentality must change for the long run for better future. Celebrities like Shahid Afridi who owns a restaurant named Splice. If celebrities invest in IT sector it will be a seismic impact on our investment culture. Misbah-ul-Haq has a very high business acumen and if he were to back Plan 9’s technology startups, there could be a big change in the way Pakistani tech startups are viewed.
Tech startup by attracting investments can create a demand for better training facilities and courses in universities. Pakistan could best international technology competitions but with proper funding.