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    Anti-quota movement is only a sideshow

Md. Shamsul Islam, Executive Editor, Our Time
Anti-quota movement is only a sideshow

Md. Shamsul Islam, Executive Editor, Our Time

The anti-quota protests are still on as the government is yet to publish the gazette notification and everyone expects that, in no time, this issue would be resolved amicably. But one may question: does the matter at hand would address the bigger problem of the ever-increasing unemployment rate among our youth?
Given the number of government job openings every year, which would not cross a few thousand by any yardstick, one may wonder how the current protests would pacify the grievances of millions of the unemployed young people. As a result, we can safely state that the anti-quota movement does not tell us the entire story; it is just little more than a sideshow. Unemployment has become a social problem and the anti-quota protests are, as yet, nothing but a moderate manifestation of a larger crisis.
According to a recent release of CPD, a leading economic think-tank of our country, more than one third of the total youth labor force with higher education is unemployed.
Interestingly, the figure does not also present us the complexities in our job market. For instance, many business organizations are forced to hire foreign nationals because our graduates lack some very essential 21st century skills. The number of foreign nations working in the domestic work front has been increasing at an alarming rate, posing threat to our youth for their entrance into the ever-competitive job sector.
Recently, I have seen media reports on how the nationals of China, Sri Lanka or India have made inroads into the local job market as the skills of our graduates are failing to satisfy the industry requirements. Many are of the view that our present education system is becoming outdated gradually, in terms of both curriculum and teaching quality.
So, the essential question is: who are to blame? The government or the educators? Are the educational administrators coming out with updated curriculum in line with the requirements of the industry? Are the regulators keeping an eye on the global trends and devising their policies accordingly?
Irony is that every citizen of our country is aware of the degradation of our educational quality which is creating a grade savvy generation instead of making them the global citizens for the 21st century.
What we need right now is complete overhauling of the educational system from primary to tertiary level. New curriculum and pedagogical techniques should be devised, inefficient teachers should be dropped and technology should be incorporated as learning tools at every level. Then only can we expect a vibrant education sector, competent enough to develop products in accordance with the industry needs. So, again, we want to emphasize that the settlement of the quota controversy does not guarantee the mitigation of young people’s grievances as far as their employment is concerned. Their causes must be dealt with a much broader outlook; otherwise the nation may witness the breakdown of social order and a much larger movement in the very near future.

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