Sunday, November 10, 2019

Skills Gap in South Asia: Indian and Pakistani Youth Lack 21st Century Skills

Only 18% of Pakistanis and 19% of Indians under the age of 24 have the skills required for 21st century jobs, according to a United Nations and Business Coalition for Education study. It's the percentage of all school age children on track to complete secondary AND reach the learning benchmarks spelled out  by National Achievement Test (NAT) 2016 for Pakistan  and NCERT 2017 for India.

South Asian economies have experienced some of the fastest growth rates in the world. They are driven by young and growing populations in the region. Sustaining growth will become increasingly difficult unless significant investments are made to prepare South Asian youth for 21st century jobs.

Today, South Asia is home to the largest number of young people of any global region, with almost half of its population of 1.9 billion below the age of 24, according to data produced by the Global Business Coalition for Education (GBC-Education), the Education Commission, and UNICEF.

Youth unemployment remains high (at 9.8% in 2018) because of changing labor market demands and over — or under — qualification of job candidates, according to the report.

In most South Asian countries, the projected proportion of children and youth completing secondary education and learning basic secondary skills is expected to more than double by 2030. Still, on current trends, fewer than half of the region’s projected 400 million primary and secondary school-age children in 2030 are estimated to be on track to complete secondary education and attain basic workforce skills.

Current efforts underway to fill the skills gap in the biggest South Asian economies of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are grossly insufficient. Only 47% of Indian, 40% of Pakistani and 55% of Bangladeshi youths will have the skills required by 2030.

These estimates were generated based on a 2019 update of the Education Commission’s original 2016 projections model for the Learning Generation report. Most recent national learning assessment data used for each country as follows: BCSE 2015 for Bhutan, GCE O Levels 2016 for Sri Lanka, LASI 2015 for Bangladesh, NAT 2016 for Pakistan, NCERT 2017 for India, Nepali country assessment 2017 for Nepal, O Level Exam 2016 for Maldives. Afghanistan is not included due to lack of recent learning assessment data at the secondary level.

Expectations of huge demographic dividends in South Asia will not be met unless policy makers significantly increase focus and investments to rapidly up-skill their youthful populations.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Pakistan NUTech to prepare 21st Century Workforce

Pakistan's Expected Demographic Dividend

10 Pakistan Universities Among Top 300 in Asia

Pakistan's Growing Human Capital

History of Literacy in Pakistan

Education Attainment in South Asia

Dr. Ata ur Rehman Defends HEC Reforms

Biotech and Genomics in Pakistan

Business Education in Pakistan

Armed Drones Outrage and Inspire Young Pakistanis


Saad G. said...

But would the jobs exist anyway? Isn’t that the crisis for the age?

Riaz Haq said...

Saad: "But would the jobs exist anyway? Isn’t that the crisis for the age?"

There's will require skilled labor but only skilled labor can drive economic growth to create jobs....assuming capital flows continue to increase..

Syed said...

O Bhai kis k sath moazna kartay ho hamesha..koi Japan Korea Germany..koi doosra mulk nahi Mela? Pakistan has made more motorcycles than India type comparison ..O Bhai sedhi baath hai..Yeh mulk jahelon ka ek jamme ghafeer hai..sarhad paar bhi yahi haal hai..bas unhon ne apna reputation Thora acha rakha hai..Konsa skill? Kahan k education..apna time zaya na karo..thanks uncle for your efforts but this country has no future..if you still insist then go and see the streets of Pakistan with all those jobless and unskilled and uneducated youth..ab agay Kya kahon

Nauman H. said...

Sir, which skills are considered here, other than software

Riaz Haq said...

Nauman: "Sir, which skills are considered here, other than software"

Industrialization of #Pakistan will require a wide range of skills to design, build, operate, program, maintain and repair all kinds of machinery, software and hardware .

Please read:

Abdullah J. said...

18% of those who finished at 10 grades or 18% of the total population of 24 & under. Any idea

Riaz Haq said...

Abdullah: "18% of those who finished at 10 grades or 18% of the total population of 24 & under. Any idea"

It's percentage of school age children on track to complete secondary AND reach the learning benchmarks.

Here's NAT 2016 report on learning benchmarks