This monitor is intended to highlight significant changes in Pakistan’s youth-related issues and policies. This Monitor will aid in the identification of major trends and issues of interest among Pakistan’s young, as well as in the removal of some impediments to the implementation of pro-youth policies.
On November 8, Syed Ali Musa Gillani is elected president of The Youth Parliamentarians Forum (YPF) of the National Assembly of Pakistan (Islamabad)
Nov 8: MNA Syed Ali Musa Gillani was chosen uncontested to the position of president of the Youth Parliamentarians Forum (YPF) of the National Assembly of Pakistan (NA of Pakistan). Mushtaq Ahmed, the Additional Secretary for Legislation, and Syed Shamoon Hashmi, the Additional Secretary for Special Initiatives, presided over the election process. They briefed the members on the structure of YPF as well as the voting process for the upcoming election. During his speech at the YPF meeting, Syed Musa Gillani emphasised how important it was for the members of the YPF to pay attention to the legislation that was being discussed in the assembly.
The Young Parliamentarians Forum, a multi-party Parliamentary forum of young MNAs aged 40 and under, has been formed and facilitated by PILDAT as an effort to organise and develop young leadership across party lines to ensure meaningful participation of young MNAs in the legislative process, to facilitate their capacity building, interaction between MNAs and their regional and international counterparts, and to introduce innovative and creative programmes and ensure active participation. The YPF was established at the start of the twelfth National Assembly.
Fourth Meeting of the Inter-provincial Coordination Mechanism on Youth Affairs
Nov 16: To facilitate coordination, coherence, and harmonisation of activities between national and provincial entities, all relevant stakeholders, the office of the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Youth Affairs (SAPM-YA), provincial youth departments, civil society, and development partners, the fourth meeting of the Inter-provincial Coordination Mechanism on Youth Affairs took place in Islamabad.
From The Office of the Prime Minister, Ms Shaza Fatima Khawaja, Member of the National Assembly and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) for Youth Affairs, Dr. Muhammad Ali Malik, Deputy Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Youth Programme and Ms. Saima Majeed, the Program Coordinator for the Youth Program of the Prime Minister attended.
From the Departments of Youth Affairs in the Provinces and Regions, the attendees included:
1. Azad Jammu and Kashmir; a. Mr. Idress Abbasi, Secretary of the Ministry of Sports, Youth, and Culture
2. Balochistan; a. Mr. Ijaz Ali, Director of Youth Affairs in the province of Balochistan
3. Gilgit-Baltistan; a. Ms. Zubaida Batool, Deputy Secretary for Coordination b. Mr. Ahmad Khan, Deputy Secretary for Administration (I&C)
4. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; a. Mr. Muhammad Irfan Ali, Director of Youth Affairs, Culture, Sports, and Tourism b. Capt. Retired Mushtaq Ahmed, Secretary of Sports and Youth Affairs c. Ms. Atifa Yousazai, Directorate of Youth Affairs (P&D and Operations) d. Ms. Uzma Mukarram, Deputy Director of Youth Affairs
5. Punjab: a. Mr. Umair Hassan, Director / Spokesperson, Youth Affairs b. Mr. Ehsan Bhutta, Secretary of Youth Affairs and Sports
6. Sindh; Syed Muhammad Habibullah, Assistant Director of Sports and Youth Affairs for the Province of Sindh
From The United Nations Population Fund Pakistan (UNFPA), the attendees included Dr. Rubina Ali, Assistant Representative UNFPA Pakistan and Ms. Rabia Pasha Gillani, Consultant for Youth Programming Support
From PILDAT, the attendees included Ms. Amna Kausar, Technical Consultant, Mr. Faheem Ahmed Khan, Senior Projects Manager and The Coordinator of the Project, Mr. Abbas A. Niazi.
Shaza Fatima Khawaja, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister, praised the ministries for their participation. In her remarks, she added that, just as KP and Punjab signed MOUs with their respective ministries, other provinces and regions should do the same. All provinces and regions agreed to create a National Youth Commission. She stated the PMO will produce a data collection form template and release it soon. On the PMO youth programme website, she explained, youth groups and NGOs may register. This form gathered information about NGOs and youth organisations not registered with the PMO youth programme. She claimed an accelerated education programme for adult literacy had been started in Punjab, letting pupils to sit their 5th grade board exam after two years. She stated the 18-month programme will raise the province’s literacy rate. She invited provinces and regions to replicate this effort and develop a nationwide literacy campaign.
She emphasised reactivating SMEDA. Students cannot start substantial businesses without SMEDA. SMEDA must establish strategies, business plans, and updated plans for departments and the PMO Youth Programme. She asked the provinces to share their results and suggestions with the PMO Youth Programme office.
A series of dialogues conducted by PILDAT: “Missing Young Voters of Pakistan”
A series of Dialogues were held by PILDAT in partnership with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Pakistan: ‘Missing Young Voters of Pakistan’ in Lahore, Islamabad & Karachi, during the month of November 2022, wherein both civil society and youth leaders expressed this concern as well as the crucial problem of low youth voter participation in Pakistan.
Nov 04: At the Lahore Dialogue, it was brought to light that despite being engaged on social media, young voting engagement is abysmally low compared to worldwide democracies. Without strategies to improve their turnout, democracy risks becoming unrepresentative.
Qurat-ul-Ain Fatima, Director Media Coordination and Outreach Wing & Director Protocol, ECP, discussed ECP’s efforts to engage and educate Pakistan’s young about their vote. She praised ECP’s Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) programme, which has had 443 sessions in schools, colleges, and institutions. To reach the younger tech-savvy generation, they partner with YouTubers and Vloggers who attend seminars and workshops to spread the message of voting. She said of student unions, “A training ground for future politicians has been destroyed.” She cited dynasty politics, nepotism, the baradari voting system, class and gender disparities as factors for young apathy. She emphasised the absence of democracy and merit in political parties, where candidates are nominated instead than elected, deterring politically active young. Reserved seats for youth in the Senate, National and Provincial Assemblies and making elections and democracy part of the curriculum will help young engagement in political processes.
Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, president of PILDAT, in a presentation on Pakistan’s Missing Young Voters, remarked, “If youth is not brought on to democratic routes, they risk adopting extreme and radical inclinations, which would threaten the country’s democracy.” Mr. Mehboob compared India and Pakistan’s young voting statistics, then highlighted creative attempts by other democracies to improve youth voter engagement.
Dr. Ammar Ali Jan, youth activist, academic, and founder-president of Haqooq-e-Khalq Party, said of political parties, “Internal democracy and authentic representation are important.” We must see young people as assets, not law and order problems. As a young activist, he highlighted the difficulties faced by young activists & fledgling politicians: “forced to keep quiet and obey, leaving them with two radical options: one where they despise politics & politicians who misuse power, and the other where they abandon their free thinking and become slogan chanters and fodder for corrupt, feudal politicians. Even parties with a large youth following have no younger power brokers.
Syed Umair Hassan, Director of Young Affairs & Sports, Punjab, emphasised the department’s efforts to involve youth in addressing youth voting concerns. He asked ECP to hold awareness programmes at its E-libraries, where Punjabi youngsters congregate.
Nov 10: At the Islamabad Dialogue, it was highlighted that Political parties must play a more active role in including young in electoral matters by integrating youth into their power structure and reserving National Assembly seats for youth. Qurat-ul-Ain Fatima, Director Media Coordination and Outreach Wing & Director Protocol, ECP, discussed voter figures and strategies used to boost voter registration and participation. She stated, “ECP emphasised on local government elections to encourage young to vote and run as candidates; KP and Sindh allocated 5% of their seats to youth.” Provincial and national plans must be similar.”
Dr. Ali Muhammad Malik, deputy secretary of PMYP, praised PMYP’s efforts to involve young. Dr. Malik called for a government that promotes young empowerment, jobs, education, and involvement. He added the PMYP is seeking nominations for youth-led groups and organisations to promote national cohesion and inclusiveness. More than 64% of Pakistan’s population is under 29, however most are vulnerable owing to several obstacles. To capitalise on this resource, the Prime Minister’s Youth Programme (PMYP) was created to equip young people with educational, economic, and social empowerment to handle life’s issues. Once empowered, this large population segment may accelerate and maintain unprecedented development.
Shaheera Jalil AlBasit, an advocate for Pakistan’s Young Election Quota Campaign, emphasised the significance of youth participation in the legislature and its effect on future policy formation. She discussed gun safety regulations and the ‘March for Our Lives’ movement in the U.S. She remarked, “Youth don’t vote owing to a lack of desire, not technical obstacles. We must build and retain their interest so they value their vote and vote on Election Day.” She then discussed the Bill she introduced in Pakistan’s National Assembly to reserve legislative seats for young. Its three key requests are that 30% of political party candidates be young and that parties finance their campaigns. Young candidates should be given 30% of leadership and core party roles. Bill forwarded to Parliamentary Affairs Committee for consideration.
Nov 24: At the Karachi Dialogue, it was discussed how Sindh Assembly abolished a provincial ban on student unions on February 11, 2022, and the governor assented on March 2, 2022. Sindh’s attempt to revitalise student politics is commendable. Higher education institutions in Sindh were expected to develop norms and procedures for Student Unions within two months of the Act’s adoption, or by May 2, 2022, although none had done so. The law’s clauses said that student unions would be reinvigorated to stimulate social contact and intellectual exchange, while simultaneously restricting violence in educational institutions. Student unions’ legislative framework governs elections, student bodies, union-administration relations, and a code of conduct.
Former MPA & PILDAT Board Member, Ms. Mahtab Akbar Rashdi, in her effort to mobilise the youth present at the dialogue, said, ‘Enhancing voter turnout is not just the responsibility of a singular organisation, but of every government institution, political party, civil society organisation, educational institution, and voter themselves. All youth stakeholders and youth themselves must actively seek out information about their rights, the voting process, their constituency candidates, and party manifestos to make an educated voting choice.
Mr. Arslan Taj, MPA, PTI, urged youngsters to reject the current status quo in all political parties that prevents them from adopting leadership roles in society. Youth make up 60% of the population, thus we should use our right to vote and join parties to change them from inside.
Mufti Qasim Fakhri, MPA, TLP, said Pakistan’s political system is dysfunctional and must be questioned and altered by the young. Now that the 2023 general elections are close, door-to-door initiatives are needed to educate new voters on the importance of their vote.
Syed Habib Ullah, Assistant Director of Sindh’s Youth Affairs & Sports Department, outlined his department’s attempts to involve youth in political and electoral processes. He discussed the Sindh Youth Policy, 2018, and the programmes and efforts meant to increase youth political involvement.
The Sindh Student Union Act, 2019 requires universities and colleges to create rules and processes for student unions, although it’s unclear why this hasn’t happened yet. PILDAT President Ahmed Bilal Mehboob asked this question after presenting on Pakistan’s Missing Young Voters. According to the Act, universities and colleges were supposed to form student unions within two months. Mr. Mehboob termed unions a nursery for young leaders and praised Sindh’s progressive culture, noting its ethnic diversity as a strength for empowerment. All Sindhi ethnicities must vote for representative democracy, he added.
Life Skills Based Education Learning Management System LMS launched in Lahore: (November 23, 2022)
Rahnuma Family Planning Association of Pakistan (FPAP), with technical support from UNFPA, has developed a Learning Management System (LMS) and Android Application on Life Skills Based Education (LSBE) to reach out to young people through digitalization.
In 2021, eight short videos were developed on LSBE and disseminated through Ilm Ki Dunya YouTube channel, a popular site for information about education system of Pakistan and through UNFPA. This year, the videos were translated into sign language, making the information easily accessible and legible for people with disabilities. These videos have also been made available on the learning management system and android app and its contribution to the future of the youth in Pakistan.
Dr. Anjum Rizvi Director PMD Rahnuma FPAP, explained the joint efforts and role of UNFPA and Rahnuma FPAP in the initiative. Mr. Ghulam Ali, the Chief Executive Officer of ilm Ki Dunya Soft Solutions took the audience through a presentation of LSBE Learning Management System LMS and Android Application followed by a question answer session.A large number of representatives from various government departments, private sector stakeholders, media, CSOs and NGOs, youth and representatives from donor agencies attended the event.
Approximately 4000 PhD holders are unemployed: Report from HEC 25 November 2022
An HEC analysis indicates that around 4000 PhDs remain unemployed despite the fact that a substantial number of positions are empty in different industries. The survey indicates that the University of the Punjab, the biggest university in Pakistan, needed 953 PhDs to run its PhD programmes, but only 662 are now employed, leaving a shortfall of 291 positions. In addition, a 2021 HEC study revealed a disparity between the number of instructors and students in 268 out of 869 PhD programmes.
The HEC’s online employment portal indicates that just 642 academics have registered for a career site designed specifically for PhD scholars. 358 have been recruited for one year under the Interim Placement of Fresh PhDs scheme. It is crucial to note that institutions only hire new PhDs for one year. In accordance with HEC regulations, a PhD programme in a department requires three full-time PhD instructors, and one instructor may supervise five students..
Voice of Youth Survey; November 2022 Edition:
Voice of Youth is a series recently launched by PILDAT’s Youth Parliament Pakistan (YPP) to display the feedback obtained from Pakistani youth (aged 18-29) domestically and globally on a variety of sociopolitical and economic concerns and difficulties they face in Pakistan. In this regard, the PILDAT conducts regular public opinion polls with the members of the YPP, which consists of young representatives from 272 constituencies of the National Assembly of Pakistan as well as representatives from Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Overseas Pakistanis roughly proportional to the population of each entity. In addition, there are over 600 alternates in these seats, bringing the YPP’s total membership to approximately 900.
Every time, The Voice of Youth will represent the ideas and preferences of the youth of Pakistan on a particular topic. Current issues (on a local, national, and worldwide level) such as the economy, education, job prospects, technology, etc., as well as particular industries and areas of business interest, may be addressed as topics. This issue focuses on the Youth Employment in Pakistan.
The following is a summary of the most essential facts collected from November 2022 survey.
1. Did you work (includes internships, volunteer work, etc.) while you studied (or if you are a student currently, do you work while you study)?
- Yes, working after completing education
- Yes, working during my ongoing education
- No, not working after completing education
- No, not working during my ongoing education
39.9% of the young respondents started working during their ongoing education while 31.5% started working after completing their education.
2. How much schooling or experience do you believe is required to acquire a good job in today’s Pakistani job market?
- Elementary education
- Vocational education
- Secondary education
- University education
- Post-graduate studies
45.7% of young respondents believe that bribery or personal connections is required to acquire a good job in today’s Pakistani job market.
3. In your opinion, which of the following traits are the most important to having a successful job search in Pakistan? (Choose 3)
- Know-how in the field of information technology
- Credentials in the sciences or the arts
- Fluency in many languages
- Competence in the business world
- Collaboration and communication abilities
- Quality education in the broadest sense
- Completed a relevant training programme or internship
71.4% of young respondents believe that Know-how in the field of information technology is the most important trait to having a successful job in Pakistan.
4. Which industry do you want to work in the most? (Choose up to 3)
- Crop production, animal husbandry, tree planting, and fishing
- Industrial Production in the Mining Industry
- Fuel distribution (Petrochemical)
- Energy production
- Real Estate
- Retail Industry
- Hotel management and eating establishments
- Defense and public administration
- Science Medicine
- Other social, personal, and community-based services
- Don’t know
- Not interested in working
Almost 48% of the young respondents said that Defence & Public Administration is the industry in which they would want to work in the most.
5. Do you plan to join the workforce or launch a business?
- Own Business
- Don’t know/not sure
56.3% of young respondents would like to launch their own business.
6. Would you be more likely to.. ?
- Be willing to take any work, regardless of the circumstances
- Take a job wherever, as long as it’s secure
- Take any job that pays well
- Take any job, providing it was within my skill set
- Only take a job if it’s secure, pays well, and matches your skill set
52.1% of the young respondents believe that they would only take a job if it’s secure, pays well, and matches their skill set.
7. Is there a minimum level of income per month below which you would not accept a job?
- If yes, how much (All inclusive, take home emoluments)?
- Don’t know/not sure
71.7% of the young respondents believe that there should be minimum level of income per month below which they would not accept a job.
8. In your opinion, what are the most significant barrier to entry while trying to get a suitable employment position in Pakistan or specifically your province/region/city? (Choose up to 3)
- Lack of availability of appropriate vocational programmes
- There are no relevant educational options (such as public policy, cybersecurity, culinary, climate change, etc)
- Disconnect between what is needed and what is taught
- Lack of work relevant experience
- Inadequate number of potential employment opportunities
- For belonging to a gender other than male, such as, female or being transgender
- Prejudices based on discrimination (for example, disability, religion, race, appearance, etc.)
- Crises in the Financial Sector
- Shortcomings in teaching business and life skills
- Capital Availability Problems
- Digital Divide
52.1% of the young respondents feel there is a disconnect between what is needed and what is taught as a significant barrier to entry while trying to get a suitable employment position in Pakistan or specifically their province/region/city.
9. Did you sign up with any of the government’s (national, provincial/territorial, local) employment services as a job seeker?
52.4% of the young respondents said that they had not signed up with the government’s (national, provincial/territorial, local) employment services as a job seeker.
10. How much, if any, job guidance or aid did you receive from the government’s (national, provincial/territorial, local) employment services?
- Helpful tips for doing a job search
- Details about available positions
- Advice on how to pursue further education and training
- Facilitating enrollment in a school or other educational programme
73.6% of the young respondents believed that they receive no job guidance or aid from the government’s (national, provincial/territorial, local) employment services.
11. To what extent do you believe that women and men have equal opportunity for advancement and success in Pakistan?
- Equal opportunities for women and men
- Greater opportunities for men
- Greater opportunities for women
- Do not know/Not sure
45.7% of the young respondents believe that there are greater opportunities for men than women for advancement and success in their careers in Pakistan.
12. Ways of Tackling Youth Unemployment in Pakistan?
- Education and training programmes
- Youth access to capital/financial resources
- Universal internet access and greater availability of cheap tech
- Skills matching
- Any other? (please state here:)
31.8% young respondents believe that education and training programmes is the best way to tackle youth unemployment in Pakistan.
The Nation https://www.nation.com.pk/09-Nov-2022/na-speaker-felicitates-ali-musa-gillani-on-election-as-ypf-head accessed on December 05, 2022 ↑
Lead Pakistan Website https://leadpakistan.com.pk/news/life-skills-based-education-learning-management-system-lms-and-android-application-launched-in-lahore/#:~:text=The%20launching%20ceremony%20of%20the,and%20officially%20inaugurated%20the%20application accessed on December 12, 2022 ↑
The Nation website https://www.nation.com.pk/25-Nov-2022/4000-pakistanis-unemployed-despite-having-phds accessed on December 05, 2022 ↑