It is not rare to hear the phrase “Pakistan’s future is very bright, because we have a seven crore youth population.” this has become part of the most widely used rhetoric about our country’s future and this rhetoric is even more prevalent on our national days. Youth is a not biological age but rather a mindset. Pakistan is essentially a young country – almost half of the segment of Pakistani population belongs to youth with ages between the age 15-35 (66%). But, the problem with this assertion is quite simple, an army can have the best weapons in the world, but if it doesn’t use them properly and effectively it still loses the war. The same is true for our youth I would be stupid to deny the fact that our youth in a large percentage of our population (66% in fact) and that it is full of talented people who have great potential. Yet, the problem remains the same if they and their potential isn’t used and channelised effectively there won’t not only be anything to gain but also there would be much to lose but the problem is that the youth of today has been widely outclassed; they do not consider themselves to be too young to be pampered, and they are not supposed to be old enough to take responsibility on their own shoulders.
In a country like Pakistan young people are growing up without opportunities, information and services they need to reach their full potential. The youth has to suffer all the problems that take place in a country. We must remember that, it is misguided youth caught in empty rhetoric that is donning suicide jackets, turning to crime, committing fraud and killing in places like Karachi. So what does this “proper and effective” using of their potential mean and what challenges stand in the way of doing so? The first challenge is the education emergency that Pakistan is facing. Seven million children are missing out on primary education in Pakistan, enrolment in secondary schools stands at a mere 23% and only a mere 5% of Pakistanis make it to university. 25 million children are being denied their basic constitutional right to a free and compulsory education. Furthermore, those who are being educated face the issue of attaining a quality education. According to the Education Emergency report, 50% of rural school children cannot read a sentence and only 35% can read a story compared to 25% of school children. There is no doubt that the youth have been at the centre of socio-economic and socio-political changes taking place in Pakistan. This time of growing age, is the most productive and energetic time. If their energies are not put in the right way they fail to captivate opportunities that come their way and then the youth unfortunately has to indulge itself in bad habits to fulfill their desire. There is no right track on which the youth can actually depend. Rash motor biking, having sheesha, late night café and clubs are common because of this. Another problem faced by younger people is separation of parents. This problem is very common these days in Pakistan. Ultimately the family issues have a much great impact on students than ever will. Is there such a thing as “family values” anymore? Has our society become so ego-centric and materialistic that selfless love has gone out the window? People should realize the truth because this is having a bad effect on our youth. In researching some of the challenges college students face today, there is an interesting survey. It is really sad to read these statistics and to realize the impact on our future children due to the breakdown in marriages today. Many women shoulder all of the responsibilities and the children in the end suffer the most trauma. I think it is due time that the men out there stand up and be responsible. Children should be taught in high school more about healthy relationships, parenting, and responsible living. Indeed, we cannot keep going on this path. It is time to wake up a society living in denial, abuse and irresponsibility to what...
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