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Is Pakistan’s unemployment caused by a lack of career counseling?

May 8, 2019
 

Photo: AFP

Some Pakistani students are confused because they don’t know where their interests lie and what they should study. Most schools don’t have career counselling, which leads to young people applying for jobs that might not be right for them.

Three students from Islamabad told SAMAA TV about the issues they face in their academic career.

“After doing my pre-medical, I got my undergraduate degree in political science but then I found out I was more interested in fine arts and literature,” one student says.

Another student said he did know that changing academic careers would cause such a problem. “I had good marks so I was being pressured to go into medical, but I decided to opt for law,” he said.

The third student, who had completed her intermediate in medical said she decided to study psychology because there was no one to counsel her at school. “I am still not sure which field I should choose,” she said.

Related: Unregistered madrassas will be shut down, warns education minister

Students with good grades are forced to study medical or engineering, which makes them frustrated, said Yusuf Almas, a career counselor. “As a result, they are unemployed and get involved in negative activities,” he said.

Almas suggested that teachers and parents should decide what their children are capable of in the early stages in their academic careers as it will help them in the future.

While there is no match for the creative abilities of Pakistani students, due to a lack of career counseling system, money and time is wasted along with young people’s effort, he said.

According to the Pakistan Economic Survey, in the 1980s the unemployment rate was 1.4%. During the 1990s, the labour force increased to 35.1 million, of which nearly two million people were unemployed, resulting in a 5.7% unemployment rate. The 2000s saw an unemployment rate of 6.8%.

From 6% in 2010-11, the unemployment rate marginally fell to 5.9% in 2014-15. However, according to estimates from the World Bank, the unemployment rate remained stuck at 5.9% in 2016 and 2017. Thus, it can be safely presumed that 2016-17 closed with 5.9% unemployment rate.

The statistics suggest that Pakistan has been facing a growth in unemployment.

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