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Present study, after a thorough literature review on matter, discusses the real time ideological and philosophical manipulation in identifying needs of youth in accordance with cultural and theological essentials in context of Pakistan. There are always some collectively morel, personal, economic and social pressures on youth which don’t let them prepare themselves for performing according to societal requirements and social expectations. The crucial role of the youth is to develop and maintain the rational status of our society in accordance with upcoming era. They can develop a collective identity of nation and let her move forward. Development of youth with clear and concise rational thinking, cultural understanding and clear theological concepts makes a nation able to produce resourceful future and desirable upcoming generation. It is inevitable for a nation, bounded by some ideological, cultural and social limits which are strongly verified as fully compatible with natural existence of implicit and explicit environmental needs, to identify the real time needs and demands of youth in order to make them empowered enough to perform their role as nation builders. This qualitative research study is taken into account for identifying the specific issues, needs, challenges and resources required for youth to make them enable to perform expected roles. This article analyze critically an already established policy in said matter with an holistic overview of youth related issues which are being underestimated or ignored in the geographical and ideological context of Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
Key Words: Youth issues, Youth policy, Ideology building, Theology
A youth is any person between the age of 15 years and 30 years regardless of the gender. Pakistan is currently facing youth bulge and it is predicted that this youth bulge is continuously increasing and Pakistan, in near future going to own the major group of youth as part of total population. Certainly, it will have a big proportion of youth reaching up to 25 million who would reside between age of 15 to 24. This total will go up to 230 million by 2030 and in 2050 it will be touching 280 million.(Siddiqa Siddiqa, 2010)
It means an addition of 85 million fresh people for which the state has to produce resources. It is also assumed that the number of older people will also increase by 2045 and such population flare- up should be a prime concern of state because it will not only alleviate the existing scarce resources but also give result of current moral, ideological and theological investments in terms of huge social benefits or losses. Larger number in regards of population will ignite the competition for available limited national resources.
It is thus important to put a glance on youth related issues with high concern considering the fact that youth of a nation is actually going to participate in establishing the economic, social, ideological and philosophical pillars and developing the nation itself. The main issue of youth in Pakistan has always been veiled under the shadows of confusion since Pakistan came into being. Mainstream leadership in Pakistan never inspired youth with sole ideological agenda that whether they need to be treated in educational prospects as natives of nationalist state or a religious state. And this confusion set out the disordered priorities in regards of character building of youth and identifying their real time social issues.
In reviewing Punjab youth policy (2012) the matter came into light that the executive cabinet of most populous province of Pakistan has reviewed an already established policy’s dimensions to identify and solve the problems of youth in the province by the help of technical partakers and ultimate stakeholders just to empower the youth for ensuring bright future of the nation but the problems identified in policy and proposed solutions for specific issues residing in domain of youth, are partially incomplete with an ideological context of territory being treated. Cultural implications and religious boundaries define the code of conduct of upcoming generations who are being taught in light of this described ideology but at the mean time there is also a need to develop flexible settings which let ideologies transform in response to upcoming mega world reforms and changes by categorizing them for making future leaders who are well aware of richness of existing traditions and strategies to respond environmental turbulence. This may be a bilateral approach with which a nation can also prepare its youth to respond global challenges while sticking to its ideological, philosophical and cultural beliefs by setting up a rational approach which supports logic.
Specifically for the context of Pakistan, while preplanned propaganda of religious extremism is being used for depicting the state as terrorism ally and in the name of terrorism’s dramatic eradication the interference of world leaders is continuously discouraging the worldly existence of peaceful Islamic ideology as well as the social and economic structure of Pakistan. The youth of Pakistan must have the clarity of right and wrong dimensions and if any youth policy doesn’t consider the ideology building then it can’t help the youth to face real life challenges by building their own nonviolent impression on world and competing against global talent.
Present study is specifically presented as a critical analysis of multiple dimensions of Punjab Youth Policy (2012) which was approved and finalized by the cabinet of Punjab and formulated with the technical assistance of Gujranwala-based youth development organization Bargad and United Nations Population Fund.
It needs to be observed that issues and needs of youth are never limited to physical, social, economic and environmental aspects when we consider youth as prime concern. Those issues and needs also include character building, ideological beliefs and cultural traditions that should be addressed in regards of micro and macro social and economic factors. In our study, we tried to uncover the prime concerns related to real time issues of youth in Pakistan.
Historical Prospect of Punjab Youth Policy (2012)
After inception of Pakistan, addressing the youth issues and preparing upcoming age band for aftershocks of partition was a major concern along with other crucial issues of political leadership. As a contextual preference that was necessary to investigate the ground realities after successful inception and present situation of that time and that was not only the matter of importance but also the planning of upcoming future but unfortunately, youth never attended much needed concern of policy makers from the start.
According to Population Council (2013) this deficiency of evidence about Pakistani youth has always demanded a full national scale review to be carried out observing multiple cultural restraints predominant in Pakistan. (Faizunnisa Ikram, 2003; Muhammad Iqbal, 2012) Facts show the lowest level of attention for a long time, observed by youth in this regard. In June 1989, a federal level youth affair division was established which then took more 20 years to formulate first ever youth national policy in 2009. After 18th amendment the decentralization plan of means, resources and authority enabled provinces to set their own preferences.
The Federal Ministry of Youth Affairs was shaped on November 18, 2005. It offered the National Youth Policy (NYP) in December 2008 which was permitted in February 2009. Earlier the creation of National Youth Policy, there were a number of ministries and organizations that were operational in numerous zones associated with youth. However, the purpose of the policy was to integrate their programmes and provide overall sense of direction consistent with the needs of the country.(Punjab Youth Policy, 2012)
Before all of this, 4 drafts of National Youth Policy were prepared in different years even after consultation of foreign consultants but never presented to cabinet. Significant changes in policy were introduced in 2001 when government took civil society in confidence and asked for suggestions about National Youth Policy.
As indicated by the new courses of action under the devolution plan, global undertakings, outside guide and between commonplace issues would now be directed by the alliance while enactment powers with respect to youth, youth association gathering and youth focuses have been designated to the areas. Financial Affairs Division (EAD) in Islamabad would deal with universal angles/understandings and help coordination. National Internship Program and National Volunteer Movement would be the duty of the Establishment Division and the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT)/Interior Division would run youth focuses and inns in the ICT .(Punjab Youth Policy, 2012) In the get up of the Constitution (18th Amendment) Act 2010, the topic of youth affairs has been transferred to provinces. In the Punjab, the Information, Culture Youth Affairs (ICYA) department initially took this responsibility and eventually prepared a draft of the Punjab Youth Policy in August 2011. The draft was then put before the civil society for their feedback and recommendations in a thorough consultative process engaging almost all stakeholders.(Punjab Youth Policy, 2012)
On 14th Oct 2011, a new Department of Youth Affairs, Archaeology, Sports and Tourism was created and the subject of ‘Youth Affairs’ was assigned to this newly created department of Government of the Punjab. And this department has presented a youth policy in year 2012 in Punjab Cabinet which was approved by the cabinet (Punjab Youth Policy, 2012).
Salient Features of Punjab Youth Policy (2012)
The Punjab government launched “The Punjab Youth Policy, 2012” with a mind set to improve youth development to help the youth to get social, moral, physical, spiritual, cognitive and emotional competencies. The policy finalized by the help of United Nations Population Fund and youth development organization “Bargad” in Gujranwala. Policy defined youth as people between >15-29 years of age.
Punjab Youth Policy 2012 presents a key structure of youth advancement for helping the youthful people in getting social, moral, physical and passionate abilities. With respect to as there is worry of composed approach report, the strategy guarantees youth's cooperation and strengthening. The approach focuses on rising and desperate needs to join youth advancement work spread over different parts i.e. instruction, social welfare, education, aptitude advancement, business, youth, work, wellbeing, populace, sports, back, and so on.
According to Punjab Youth Policy (2012), Its key test is to genially outfit youth with social, political and financial strengthening and diminish the destitution in the Punjab. This will be finished by organizing a self-governing body, to be called, the Punjab Youth Development Foundation (PYDF). A portion of the Salient highlights of Punjab Youth Policy are given underneath that can be explored and broke down with the end goal to see effects and results of arrangement created and upheld. The highlights of strategy that would serve for the most part as our exploration targets are underlined:
- It prescribes setting up a Job Bank On-Line, to direct employment showcase overviews and to manufacture a database to illuminate the young about potential openings and to control the instructive and professional preparing foundations
- The strategy likewise imagines foundation of Youth Venture Capital Fund by open private association to help new business thoughts and enterprise among young fellows.
- The Youth Policy will urge all private educational institutes to give on grounds occupations to no less than 5% of their full-time understudies students and to set up vocation arrangement workplaces. It will likewise begin Punjab Internship Program with open private organization to open doors for newer.
- Inter-commonplace youth trade programs facilitated by neighborhood schools and colleges.
- "See Pakistan Program" for youth portability.
- Building of new youth lodgings and empowering private division for moderate inn business. Arrange enterprise and preparing project and guide and prepare youth to work together, to advance and grow business.
- Model Danish Schools at the local level will be developed.
- Technical skill development through IT will be enabled by given laptops on merit to students.
- Uniform basic and secondary education to promote integration and social cohesion.
- The government will reserve 15 % quota for girls in employment.
- The government will initiate life-skill programs for children and youth in schools.
- Strict measures for implementing laws against forced and early marriages.
- Representation of equivalence of boys and girls through all public communications and programmes. (Punjab Youth Policy, 2012)
Conceptual Foundations of Policy
Policy analysis for said policy will be taken into account in accordance with contextual youth needs, their real time issues and as well as the conceptual basis of policy under study as the ultimate need of analysis is to infer the actual meanings of prescribed agenda of policy which can be understood as face of public policy being formulated in public sector of third world countries. Solution will always be proposed wrongly if the real problem is not identified and how is it possible when someone out of the context tries to assess, predict and interpret the situation or problem, would the fetched out solution be appropriate?
Before discussing the intangible patterns of policy it would be helpful to classify the areas related to youth which are commonly identified and been treated as problematic objects. Those areas are mainly related to primary and secondary education, jobs and entrepreneurial activities, equality of genders and freeness of youth beyond cultural and traditional limitations, empowerment and skill development and last but not least role of public private partnership in catering youth bulge for upcoming resources to be managed.
It needs to be inferred that all these areas are specifically trying to convert the actions into transactions in the name of managing talent according to international standards by promoting the role of private sector in national economy and welcoming the glitter of globalization. Completely ignoring the strong cognitive approaches for character building and empowerment of youth this policy tries to perform at one step ahead which is bizarre but somehow effective in lending ultimate state responsibilities and control to secondary powers.
The partnerships are evolved to limit public organizations by decreasing the financial plans of the previously mentioned projects, as well as of state funded schools and colleges, open lodging, open facilities and centers, government wellbeing insurance projects, and government commitments to standardized responsibilities related to general public, with the end goal to diminish corporate expenses and consequently increase prosperity of public. Further, government-worked ventures, for example, transportation and correspondence administrations are being sold off to private corporations at deal costs. The catchphrase today is privatization; the market is above all else and the benefit is superseding objective.(Terris, 1999)
It is observed and tested that the concept of new public management has transformed the public sector in general, into business like entity which is promoting privatization and revenue generation from its very own respondents regardless of any specific area of the world. The linkages among concept of new public management, neo-liberalism, free market economy and policies being formulated for public sector in third world countries are profound and hidden from a bird’s eye view. For appropriate solution of public issue, understanding of locality, its cultural and geographical aspects along with the contextual framework is very important. But involvement of international donors has devastated the sense of appropriateness and responsibility from the local leadership of third world countries.
The purpose to observe the hidden patterns in policy being studied is to find out how international donors, in the name of giving financial and technical support, are influencing the policy development process of third world countries.
The main ideology lies behind this debate is to identify if there are some hidden purposes in offering loans and technical support to under develop countries. There are some questions in this regard that should be answered properly:
1) “What encouraged Bretton woods institutions to design and offer this scheme to other world countries?
2) Whether it was all about to flowering the economies of underdeveloped countries or there were some hidden purposes behind these schemes?
3) Why the conditions have been set in a way that it seems the consequences of accepting this pattern are mainly drawn on concept of grasping the economies in our hand?
4) What was the original plan that was offered and what changes occurred after its implementation?
5) What are the actual consequences on the macroeconomic factors of those countries who have accepted loans?”(Dasgupta, 2016)
Problem behind awry from right direction in policy making is basically that influence which is caused by international institutions of developed countries on public institutions of underdeveloped countries.
Researcher perceive that there are two identical Bretton Woods organizations IMF (International monitory fund) and the World Bank which are responsible for the making and implementation of the policies of structural adjustment packages. After the World War II the two identical Bretton woods organizations were under the clear domination of the haves and they put their attention towards the pro market and anti-state interventions. As per their viewpoint they were working not in actual accordance with pre-plans.(Dasgupta, 2016)
The underlying realities in policies of such deserved countries will always reflect the impressions from outside influential that basically let the ground cultural, ideological and religious realities forgone just because of global interests of superpowers of world. Youth policy of Punjab had same interference from those international institutions in the name of technical assistance and consultation provided. And that stimulus the wrong perceptions about the need of youth or steps needed to empower youth financially and ideologically. The concept of neo-liberal philosophy transforms every single state action as a transaction which should be taken in greater interest of nation instead. That’s why policy makers opt to involve model of public private partnerships and globalization even in policy specific to social and moral needs of their countrymen.
Policy makers of underdeveloped countries consider that foreign companies have better plans to utilize resources and they can get their country’s economy at an absolute level fostering economic management. But the concept of privatization of public sector made countries to put their economies on stake because when the countries proved to be unable to return the loan back they obviously got to select the novelistic approach to sale out the institutions. Decreasing budgets in most important and directly related to public sectors and cutting subsidies made it more worst to uplift the economy and state institutions failed to provide what they meant to do.(Dasgupta, 2016)
The prime interest of those international institutions is just to maintain consistency of post-colonial era through capturing the operational triggers of economy of third world countries and this is more effective to inculcate these concept to upcoming generations while preparing their future plans according to our own future orientation.
Bretton Wood companies supported globalization in the name of elimination of cross cultural limitations and nurturing the concept of free market at a global scope but on contrary globalization agencies imposed policy reforms favoring particular economies. The observations has shown that globalization had several hidden outcomes that proved to be more adverse than its benefits. The concept of globalization in order to reinforce a new political economic continuum specially on third world countries required minimal state interference and used the model of privatizing the public sector which afterwards diminished the state sovereignty.(Haque, 2002)
It should be understood that Neo-liberal perspective that modifies the concept of liberalism in favor of free-market capitalism, in this regard, directly targets the state protectionism that is most important in terms of culture, religion, civilization, ideology, values, beliefs and norms.(Haque, 2002)
These economic reforms were accepted to boost economic efficiency, reduction in public sector mismanagement, guarantee of efficient allocation of resources but on the other hand, it has been observed that these claims are based on extremely narrow economistic criteria that overlooks the adverse and immensely negative effects of them such as increasing poverty, social inequality and external dependence of states. (Haque, 2002)
Concluding the argument, it is needed to examine the process which creates the relationship between few international beneficiaries and the business like state activities because this relationship has certainly weaken the original beneficiaries of state orientations. So it is to be observed that why the building and implementation of more appropriate plans is not totally in the hands of immediate stakes of a nation?
The factual muddle is that in past three to four hundred years some courses in educational and ideological regards have been taught to whole mankind irrespective of their religious, geographical and professional identity and we have learnt to live under development of those disciplines which have introduced momentary scientific truths declaring the science as only rational source of demonstrations about universe and have proclaimed the human as only administrator of this universe. This self-awarded autonomy actually let the powerful to exploit powerless. In short, the evacuation of theological and religious perspectives from the global politics has made the “Haves” to practice their autonomy over “Have-nots”.
Objective of this discussion is to clarify that removing theological, religious, ideological and cultural demarcations from a policy specifically related to youth and upcoming generation is not that much simple to be nullified. It is actually another attempt to prepare the upcoming age band under same conditions which have promoted the capitalism and culture of power so no one can even be able to think out of the box and question the rulers of the world.
“In spite of the postcolonial rehabilitation and reforms in the administrative superstructure. The recent pro-market reforms under structural adjustment programs, including privatization, deregulation, and liberalization, have created certain challenge to bureaucracy, especially in terms of its size and scope, there has been minimal change in its inherited structural, normative, and behavioral formations”.(Shamsul Haque, 1997)
Besides the obvious pressures related to physical, social, personal, economic and environmental needs, the impact of manipulating the appropriate problem identification, is a matter of great concern for observers inside and outside the country. Punjab youth policy identifies and tries to fix the more facial problems of youth that are completely related to economic, social, financial and developmental issues but it ignores the root cause of failures which trigger lose of character building, awareness of responsibility, identification of self, philosophical and ideological educational course, abduction of real time and emergent issues of youth, implementation of core religious norms and beliefs those are rationally tested, physical development and concept clearance. Youth should be prepared to face future with strong diplomatic stance and confidence. The big questions in this regard is:
1) Provide education but which kind of education?
2) Provide resources but how to make youth enable to create resources?
3) Provide global opportunities but how to aid youth to face the world?
4) Allow youth to excel and chose what they want but why not to limit them in verified boundaries consenting the ultimate vertical uplift of their efforts?
5) Realize youth that in the new world order their every action should be considered as a transaction but why not to make them aware of that they are needed for the wellbeing of society?
6) Why to modernize them with fabricated essentials and let them forget the big purpose?
7) Make them admitting the glitter of foreign and outsourced talent and philosophy instead of creating awareness about our own rich social and religious philosophy?
a) Educational flaws and curriculum design
Education is a very broader term comprising all academic, professional, scientific, modern, philosophical and formal concerns as well as ethical, behavioral, rational, religious, and lifelong skills. Tremendous educational curriculum always refers to disciplines and courses that enable its aspirants and practitioners to understand circumstances, existing problems and their respective solutions, critical approaches to find the gaps, rational thinking for making decisions and above all of this a crucial link between all social phenomena and resilient features of cultural and ideological methodologies to fetch out the most appropriate combination of tradition and modesty.
Memon (2007) identified that in Pakistan, primary and secondary modes of education are just preparing the children for tertiary education with no practical value addition.
In Pakistan, primary and secondary educations are lacking in science and research as well as quality of education. (Behrman, 1976).
The main reason behind the basic confusion of designing the course and delivering it at maximum level that political leadership in Pakistan could never understand their own prerequisite agendas for educating youth and on the other hand the all further international academic standards could never be met.
b ) Healthy activities
Games and projects of physical exercises are basic for the improvement of the young. But a nation confronting political, monetary and institutional difficulties can't be relied upon to be centered and dynamic around the advancement and advancement of the games for its childhood.
Sports couldn't prosper in Pakistan when contrasted with driving worldwide measures and the primary purpose behind this is the absence of assets accessible for giving games offices to the adolescent. Indeed, even the couple of offices and foundation that are accessible are of low gauges consequently not creating any wonderful outcomes.
Punjab youth strategy totally overlooks the need of sound body and a sound personality while taking the talk toward youth and up and coming ages. It is accordingly distinguished that "See Pakistan Program" or exercises like this are just a single penny of hundred since this issue ought to be tended to on national level from minor principles to major.
C) Negative media impressions
The policy even discussed the diminutive issue of eradication of early forced marriages in Punjab but not the big deal about role of electronic and entertainment media in the form of deceitful aggression, self-disharmony, negative psychological interventions and violence in youth. Even it is clearly understood that in today’s world the communication mediums like Electronic media, Social media and internet web have transformed the concerns of generation as they have never been.
Several surveys and reports in regards of negative role played by media have reported that vigorous and more approachable communication also has some adverse effects on the society, specifically on youth. National institute of mental health (NIMH) has concluded that destructive media programs initiates violent behaviors in youth.(Anderson et al., 2003)
This shows the biasness of policy formulators that they don’t have an ultimate concern of uplifting prosperity and ease of youth but diminishing the local cultural and religious traditions in relevance with priorities. The conceptual basis of Punjab youth policy have also been proved deceitful because not any building can be established by paying attention first to its roof top.
We have gone through various studies associated to Education system of Punjab, Reports on youth development, economic enforcements and educational initiatives. Literature review is ensured to be done in regards of studying real implications of this policy either the scope of policy was set too high or there were some conceptual as well as administrative flaws in setting up the policy formulation and implementation. The goals of policy are clearly associated with certain sectors and departments, which help us to ensure availability of required facts and figures.
Although, in recent years, a series of legal, policy and administrative measures have pursued to safeguard the participation of youth in law-making, policy-formulation and public administration, still even a slightly visible improvement in positive regards is not ensured. While determinations to ensure a minimum level of adolescence demonstration and inclusion have been partly successful, but in terms of quality character building, long-term social development and making youth the true future leaders, the policy makers of our community have not been successful just for setting up the wrong dimensions by dancing on other’s tune.
We have concluded the weaknesses in the ideological state control and regulatory regime by providing a critical review of the policy and resource availability issues related to youth. It is to be done that government first of all DE regularize the provincialism in regards of such an important matter like education and character building of youth. There should be a central cohesion and harmony among the state provinces when it comes to ideological, financial, educational, spiritual, social and skill development of youth.
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