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

Anonymous said...

Sir I don't understand one thing when will the govt of PAKISTAN look into issues of govt schools ,colleges and universities of Pakistan?

Sir do you know how badly Karachi University is performing ? Their is lot of politics in this University . Teachers have full power and authority in Karachi University and these teachers are misusing this authority and power.

In MCS program which is offered in UBIT department of Karachi University ,they are teaching advance level courses to their students who don't have computer science background.

Also their is no option of semester freez and course exemption in UBIT(Computer Science Dept) of Karachi University .

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan ranks 73 on #digital skills among 141 nations ranked by #WEF (Page 448)

Overall skills of current workforce rank 67 (Page 448)

Overall competitiveness rank: 110/141 (Page 446)

Digital skills among active population, 2019:




Riaz Haq said...

Investor Jayant Bhandari: #Indians in the West are India's best. Those left in #India are unskilled. People who think India can ever compete with #China or even continue to grow without West's help do not understand ground realities. #MakeInIndia #Modi

If I need to get plumbing work done in India, I do the job myself, despite that the cost of a plumber is a mere couple of dollars. In Canada, where a similar work might cost fifty times more, I might get someone to do the job. Why? Because the plumber in India will do a horrible job and will create five new problems. I started and ran Indian subsidiaries of two European companies. The so-called cost advantages of India always stayed an illusion. Anyone who thinks that India can ever compete with China or even continue to grow without constant technological help from the West has no understanding of the ground realities in India. Here is a conversation I recently had with Jay Taylor:

Indian government exists for the sole purpose of collecting bribes. Indian bureaucrats are lazy, incompetent, and sadistic, a case study on which I wrote here a few days back. But what one must remember is that India’s most fundamental problem is its tribal and unskilled populace.

Riaz Haq said...

‘Hunarmand Pakistan’ to transform skill sector, says minister

The government is fully committed to reforming the skill sector of the country that will not only ensure a prosperous future for young people but also the country.

This was said by Minister for Federal Education & professional Training Shafqat Mehmood during a visit to the new building of National Vocational & Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) here on Wednesday.

NAVTTC Chairman Syed Javed Hasan and Executive Director Dr. Nasir Khan briefed the minister on the 14 components of ‘Hunarmand Pakistan’ programme, a component of Prime Minister’s ‘Kamyab Jawan’ programme, under which NAVTTC is initiating a comprehensive reforms process of the country’s skill development sector to make it compatible with the requirements of the country’s huge youth population as well as domestic and international job markets.

“Hunarmand Pakistan is a unique and comprehensive program aimed at skilling our most precious national asset, youth, by creating employment opportunities for their social and economic uplift and enabling them to play pivotal role in the national development.

"It presents both challenges and opportunities for NAVTTC to bring reforms in the skill sector of the country,” he added.

The minister emphasized on a uniform certification regime that would serve as a gold standard and would be recognized both in the local and international market.

He also stressed that selection of the best TVET institutes based on merit and transparency must be ensured which is paramount to the overall success of ‘Hunarmand Pakistan’ programme.

“We are focused on imparting quality training to our youth which is the only way to guarantee maximum employability to our TVET graduates,” said chairman NAVTTC Syed Javed Hasan.

“This huge project envisages the reform agenda of TVET sector of Pakistan, and has been developed after extensive deliberations and feedback from key stakeholders from across the country incorporating all eight identified interventions as prescribed in the road map by the Task Force on Technical and Vocational Education," said Executive Director NAVTTC Dr. Nasir Khan.

The meeting was also attended by all the Regional Director Generals of NAVTTC.

The key components of this programme include development and standardization of 200 technical and vocational qualifications, international accreditation of 50 Pakistani TVET institutes, extension of NAVTTC’s Job Portal with National Exchange Portal, establishment of 75 smart Tech labs for virtual skill development programs & distant learning programmes, establishment of 10 country-of-destination specific facilitation centers, establishment of 70 labs/workshops in Madrassah(s), Skill development training of 50,000 youth in High-end technologies, training to 50,000 youth belonging to less developed areas of the country especially Balochistan, GB, AJK, and newly added districts of KP (ex-FATA), Southern Punjab and rural Sindh, Apprenticeship training of 20,000 youth in industry under Apprenticeship Act 2018, Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) of 50,000 youth to bring informally trained workers into the national mainstream, establishment of National Skills Accreditation Council at Islamabad, accreditation of 2000 TVET institutes across Pakistan, and establishment of 50 incubation centers to promote self-employment and entrepreneurship in skilled youth.

The minister appreciated the efforts of NAVTTC to uplift the TVET sector of Pakistan and said the effective execution and implementation of the program will transform the skill development of the country. The minister also planted a sapling at the new premises of NAVTTC.