Despite an avowed economic development that satisfies 74 per cent of new generation, 82 per cent of Bangladesh youth are not optimistic about their future, reveals a Prothom Alo youth survey.
Statistically, the country has attained over 6 per cent economic growth over the recent years, but such growth has failed to create jobs for those entering the market every year.
Also amid the worldwide economic recession, the Bangladesh youth cannot be confident about their job prospects.
The survey, commissioned by Org-Quest Research Ltd, has further found that 63 per cent youth have no specific aim in their life.
The survey was conducted among 1,200 people aged between 15 and 30 years to learn their views on the economic and political situation, law and order and personal safety in the country. There is certain uneasiness with the country’s security, the youth indicated.
The youth, according to the survey, are almost equally divided in their opinion on politics - whether they are satisfied or dissatisfied with the current political situation.
It shows about 74 per cent youth are satisfied with the overall economic condition of the country.
But, they are seriously concerned about the level of corruption and state of law and order.
As high as 56.4 per cent youth are worried about their personal safety.
Overall, the survey suggests, most of today’s youth cannot paint a shining picture of their future.
“There is no disagreement with the youths’ anxiety,” said young economist Selim Raihan.
He pointed out that a large section of this youth in Bangladesh have been classified as not in education, employment or training.
Selim Raihan, executive director of South Asian Network on Economic Modeling (SANEM), added that those who are engaged in certain services are not happy with the current employment. “Such jobs are not commensurate with their expectations. So they are getting frustrated,” he said.
“The country, too, is being deprived of the potential of the youth.”
During the survey, the youth were asked questions on the overall condition of the country, including religion, militancy, drug, personal and family values and morality and how they spend their leisure time.
Today the number of youths is far higher than people from any other age group in the world. Bangladesh is blessed with the majority of its population young.
The Bangladeshi youth, who were historically active in politics, are losing interest in political affairs.
However, use of internet is increasingly becoming the focus of their activities, the survey found. Still, they are worried about getting decent jobs with whatever skills they have.
The survey said uncertainties about personal and national security are discouraging modern youth from being meaningfull engagement in society.
Associate professor at Dhaka University’s political science department Shantanu Majumder said in spite of economic development, the people are not comfortable with the security situation.
“Not only the youth, but the people from all walks of life are living with unease.”
Terming this an ominous sign for the country, Shantanu Majumder said, “Youth are not only reluctant to join politics, they are averse to it as well. The overall condition in the family, society and state does not draw them into politics.”
The survey findings said 56.4 per cent male respondents expressed their satisfaction while only 40 per cent females did so. On the other hand, 40 per cent male respondents talked about their dissatisfaction with the political situation while 45 per cent females were found dissatisfied.
- The report, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Shameem Reza.