LAHORE: Young Pakistanis are being driven out of the country to places like the Middle East because of a lack of education and employment opportunities, said researchers at the second day of the 12th Annual Population Research Conference, organised by the Population Association of Pakistan (PAP), at Punjab University.
The conference, titled Pakistani Youth: The Ultimate Resource, focused on migration and security issues on Wednesday. Dr GM Arif, joint director of the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, said that most Pakistani migrants to the Middle East were below the age of 25, and they left in search of better economic and social opportunities.
PAP President Shahida Azhar said that the curriculum needed to be redesigned and quality of teaching needed to be raised. She said that the youth should be given jobs in the country to avoid brain drain.
Fauzia Alvi, a teacher at the Institute of Social and Cultural Studies, presented research on how globalisation had affected young Pakistanis. She said that the youth related their identity to material objects, as a result of greater brand awareness and class consciousness.
At a session on youth and culture, Fatima Jinnah University for Women lecturer Adeela Rehman shared her paper about the decline of local languages among the young and its impact on culture, using Punjabi as a case study.
Muhammad Amjad Kavesh from Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU), Islamabad, said young Pakistanis were going through an identity crisis because of factors of ethnicity, education and globalisation. The government should form a national plan to address this issue, he said.
Experts from the United Nations and the Population Council are to participate in the last day of the conference, which focuses on adolescent health and development.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 24th, 2011.