Crisis: thirty and unemployedAhmed Shatil Alam
Ashraful Uzzal is a 26 year old, who has recently finished his final year exam, undergraduate course, from a reputed college under the National University. A few days ago this reporter incidentally spoke to him at Shahbagh, whilst he was present at a demonstration held by Bangladesh Shadharon Chhatra Parishad. He accused the government of attempting to keep away young blood from government service. Several thousand former/ present students, like Uzzal, blocked the roads, demanding a raise in the closing age, from the existing 30 to 35, for government job candidates.
In Bangladesh, the age-limit for a government job candidate is 21 to 30 years. In accordance to the regulation a person would not be eligible to apply for any first or second class government job, if he/she steps into their 31st year. In fact, very specifically, if a person’s age is 30 years and 1 day he/she will lose their eligibility to apply for government jobs.
These regulations were established at times when students could complete their under graduation by 21 years of age. In that era one could attain their degree certificates and finish their under graduation from the National University within two years, from the time of admission. However, in this day and age, owing to many complications and new regulations from the government, students are not able to obtain their certificates in time to meet the projected age limits.
Presently, the course durations, under the National University, has been elevated to three years. Add to that ‘Prolonged educational life’ which cause course durations to increase up to six years, ultimately deterring a student from completing their graduation in due time. Besides the ‘Prolonged educational life’ and increased course durations, there are other contributing factors that prevent students from graduating in time, some times taking up to a year, for job applications; long admission procedures, change in exam schedules, political imbalance, students awaiting results etc.
Speaking of, pending results, Abdullah al Mamun an MSc. student from Dhaka College and also an active member of Bangladesh Shadharon Chhatra Parishad says, ‘I completed my MSc. final year exam between the years 2009 and 2010, however my results have yet to be published and I have been waiting for a little more than two, frustrating, years’. He added, ‘We the students of National University are unable to finish our education, under and post graduation, before the age of 27/28 years. Moreover, with the current state of things, if it takes over two to three years to publish results, I don’t see how these illogical regulations, referring to age limit restrictions, can exist but alas they do’.
The above scenario also stands true for various public educational institutions. For example, Md. Imtias Hossain, former student of Dhaka University and president of the Bangladesh Shadharon Chhatra Parishad says, ‘Students of public institutions such as DU are also not able to finish their under and post graduation within the current age limits.’ He also added, ‘Faced with many problems the students of public institutions complete their under graduation barely, by the age of 23. Additionally, if students wish to pursue post graduation then they have to wait for an additional year, sometimes even more. Our neighboring country, India, which is also classed as underdeveloped has an age limit of 35 years. These numbers are also followed by developed countries such as the UK, USA and Australia. Hence in light of our circumstances and global trends I don’t see how the current regulations make any sense’.
Alamin Raju, General Secretary, of the organization has expressed, ‘The government assumes that a person can apply for a job after completing under graduation however the truth in the matter is contrasting. He says that a majority of the institutions and organizations run by the government demand a Master’s degree, as a compulsory requirement for a freshman job-seeker, on their job circulars’. One could propose the job seekers to try and apply at private organizations however it is a well known fact that private firms don’t distribute circulars of any sort. Rather they appoint employees via their internal recruitment procedures. Assuming that a few people become aware and avail at these internal recruitment procedures, which leave out the many who are not informed of such opportunities, what do they do? Hence, he says, ‘If the government is incapable of alleviating the problems faced by students, procedures that unnecessarily lengthen a students’ education life, then the government should ratify an alternative solution ergo raise the age limits for freshman job-seekers immediately. Otherwise, this dire unemployment crisis shall forever be adamant’.
Though the above scenario is a nationwide calamity and affects many students, our established youth and student organizations remain silent in this regard. An active member of the Bangladesh Shadharon Chhatra Parishad contends that a majority of the student organizations are too busy pushing their own businesses and agendas, rather than working to help students’ overall. ‘Bangladesh Shadharon Chhatra Parishad is not backed by any political parties and is organized by the general students of the country. We have decided to fight for our demands till they are fulfilled. We have held many processions since February 25, 2012 and are looking forward to spreading the awareness amongst students’ within various districts of the country; Dinajpur, Comilla, Chittagong , Jessore and many more’, said Imtias Hossain. In this regard, an insider of Bangladesh Chhatra League, the ruling party backed student organization demonstrated agreement regarding the crisis and said, ‘We are silently in support of this movement however since we are sheltered by the ruling party, we cannot raise our voices along with them’. Kafee Ratan, the current president of Jubo Union says that they do not have any specific decisions on this matter they think that the government could raise the age limit to 32 years from the current 30, on an interim ground. ‘We strongly support the reduction in the educational lives of students’ as soon as possible’ he stressed.
comments powered by Disqus