SHILLONG, SEPT 11: Every third person in Meghalaya who is a graduate or above is unemployed leading to his/her frustration said former Meghalaya home minister and MLCU vice chancellor Robert G Lyngdoh even as he strongly advocated reviewing the present state education system and felt that youths must be equipped with skills that will make them employable.
Speaking during the seminar to mart the eighteen years foundation day of the United Democratic Party (UDP) on–‘Human Capital’ on Friday Lyngdoh quoted the report on the employment scenario in the state prepared by the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India. The report states – “Every third persons who is holding a degree is found to be unemployed at the age group from 15 to 29.”
Lyngdoh said, “So you can imagine the problem that we are facing where every third persons does not have a job. Every third person who graduates are frustrated, every third person who graduates is angry and that I feel one of the biggest problems that we faced in the North East and Meghalaya.”
Lyngdoh was of the opinion that the high levels of frustration of the educated unemployed youths get expressed in the form of drug abuse,militancy, alcoholism. He said, “What we called problems today are not the problems these are just symptoms… The problem is the fact that our youths are frustrated they are not able to live the dreams, achieve the aspiration…so the alternative is to take drugs, militancy and society has to suffer.”
Quoting further from the report he stated the literacy rate was 63 per cent in 2001 adding, “But when we talk of literacy rate is it relevant in the relevant sectors or is it just that we know how to read and write and cannot go beyond that. I think even the yardstick on literacy have to be relooked … Yes, we have been able to write a, b, c, d or 1, 2, 3, 4 but is it not going to help us move forward in the present scenario today.”
To address this problem, Lyngdoh suggested, “Firstly unless we are able to teach our youths with the relevant skills, we will not be able to address the frustration that is there and unless we teach them relevant skills, we will not be able to address influx of labours.” He also felt there is a need to renew the value system because he said he strongly believe skills will be the same but value is what makes us different from the rest. “We have to build our work culture,” he added.
Stating that the youths do not see opportunities and the present education system is to be blamed as it fails to teach them about ‘lateral thinking’, Lyngdoh said adding, “I don’t believe that an outsider comes here for work because they love our land or love the air in our land nobody will risk his life unless he see economy opportunities but our people do not see and that is the biggest problem… then of course there is no motivation.”
Highlighting on the other aspects the present education system failed to addresses, Lyngdoh said, “If rural educated youth do not go back to rural areas and instead migrated to urban areas, what will happen…there will only be competition for jobs, competition for accommodation to stay, for basic resources, water power etc…. while in the rural areas, because all educated people have migrated, the it stays the same, they cannot progress… this is the biggest characteristic that we have and see in the human.”
Terming the desires for only government job as hangover of British era which he is felt is sad, Lyngdoh said, “It’s the British who wanted us to be dependent on the government and today after 70 years of getting Independence from the British and after 50 years of having our own state, we are still stuck thinking that government jobs are the only jobs that are good for us. That is another major problem again.”
Lyngdoh felt that unless youths are able to look at other jobs in private sector or businesses which are as good as a government job he does not think that opportunities that are there around can be exploited because “we are like blind horses, we see only the secretariat, government as source of revenue as a source of jobs as a source of help for ourselves.”.- By Our Reporter