PakAlumni Worldwide: The Global Social Network

The Global Social Network

Pakistan has the world’s sixth largest population, seventh largest diaspora and the ninth largest labor force. With rapidly declining fertility and aging populations in the industrialized world, Pakistan's growing talent pool is likely to play a much bigger role to satisfy global demand for workers in the 21st century and contribute to the well-being of Pakistan as well as other parts of the world.



With half the population below 20 years and 60 per cent below 30 years, Pakistan is well-positioned to reap what is often described as "demographic dividend", with its workforce growing at a faster rate than total population. This trend is estimated to accelerate over several decades. Contrary to the oft-repeated talk of doom and gloom, average Pakistanis are now taking education more seriously than ever. Youth literacy is about 70% and growing, and young people are spending more time in schools and colleges to graduate at higher rates than their Indian counterparts in 15+ age group, according to a report on educational achievement by Harvard University researchers Robert Barro and Jong-Wha Lee.



Pakistan's work force is over 60 million strong, according to the Federal Bureau of Statistics. With increasing female participation, the country's labor pool is rising at a rate of 3.5% a year, according to International Labor Organization.

With rising urban middle class, there is substantial and growing demand in Pakistan from students, parents and employers for private quality higher education along with a willingness and capacity to pay relatively high tuition and fees, according to the findings of Austrade, an Australian govt agency promoting trade. Private institutions are seeking affiliations with universities abroad to ensure they offer information and training that is of international standards.

Trans-national education (TNE) is a growing market in Pakistan and recent data shows evidence of over 40 such programs running successfully in affiliation with British universities at undergraduate and graduate level, according to The British Council. Overall, the UK takes about 65 per cent of the TNE market in Pakistan.

It is extremely important for Pakistan's public policy makers and the nation's private sector to fully appreciate the expected demographic dividend as a great opportunity. The best way for them to demonstrate it is to push a pro-youth agenda of education, skills development, health and fitness to take full advantage of this tremendous opportunity. Failure to do so would be a missed opportunity that could be extremely costly for Pakistan and the rest of the world.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistanis Study Abroad

Pakistan's Youth Bulge

Pakistani Diaspora World's 7th Largest

Pakistani Graduation Rate Higher Than India's

India and Pakistan Contrasted in 2011

Educational Attainment Dataset By Robert Barro and Jong-Wha Lee

Quality of Higher Education in India and Pakistan

Developing Pakistan's Intellectual Capital

Intellectual Wealth of Nations

Pakistan's Story After 64 Years of Independence

Pakistan Ahead of India on Key Human Development Indices

Working Women in Pakistan

Scholarships at Foreign Universities

Institute of International Education--Open Doors

UK's Higher Education Statistics Agency Report

Austrade on Education in Pakistan

Views: 169

Tags: Demography, Education, Pakistan, Population

Comment by Riaz Haq on March 1, 2013 at 8:13am

Here's an NPR story on a mobile library in Pakistan:

On a cold, rainy morning, a van pulls up outside a rural elementary school on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan's capital. The fluorescent green vehicle provides a flash of color on this otherwise gray day. There's a picture of children reading books under a large apple tree, and the words "Reading is fun" are painted in English and Urdu, the national language in Pakistan.

This is the weekly visit of the Bright Star Mobile Library.

Volunteer Ameena Khan starts pulling books from shelves on either side of the van.

"One is called Faces and one's an Urdu book," she says. "We're doing Bears on Wheels, which is a nice counting book. Fourth grade is going to read their own books."

The younger children gather to hear Khan read. The girls, bright-eyed and engaged, sit cross-legged on the floor in neat rows.
In Pakistan, rarely a day goes by without news of a bombing or an attack by militants. Many young Pakistanis have grown up in the grip of religious extremism, and there's little sign that that is likely to change in the near future. But the founder of the Bright Star bookmobile is trying to reverse that trend, starting at the most basic level.
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So Malik decided to take books to the children. He says the idea of creating a mobile library came to him after seeing a similar project at the San Francisco Public Library. But Malik says he soon encountered the type of bureaucracy that can choke the life out of a project — even from Pakistan's Education Department.

He waited six months just to get a single letter from the department, granting access to schools

"There was absolutely no earthly reason to delay it," he says.

Malik called in some contacts to help get the project going. The U.N. World Food Program donated Bright Star's two vans, which were used previously as ambulances in neighboring Afghanistan. Pakistan's national library, the Asia Foundation and the San Francisco Public Library donated books. There are no religious books.

Like most nascent nonprofits, funding is fragile. The project runs on a shoestring budget, and it relies on donations and volunteers like Ameena Khan. She says she has seen a positive change in the children since they've had access to books.

"You would think, how can you fix so much [that] is wrong with education in Pakistan? We don't have a very big establishment," she says. "But we're reaching out to that many children in just a few hours, it does make a difference."

At the moment, Bright Star Mobile Library reaches 2,500 kids in Pakistan. Malik says that number is set to double in the next few months.

http://www.npr.org/2013/02/28/173161452/at-a-pakistani-mobile-libra...

Comment by Riaz Haq on April 21, 2013 at 10:27am

Here's a Gulf News report on new tech training center in FATA's Bajaur agency in Pakistan:

Islamabad: In keeping with the directives of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to provide assistance to the people of Pakistan and to support technical and vocational educational there, the UAE Project to Assist Pakistan (UPAP) has announced completion of the project to build a technical college at Bajaur in Pakistan at a total cost of $3.4 million (Dh12.4 million). The project was delivered to the local government in Bajaur following completion.

The official inauguration of the college was attended by Chief of Pakistan Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, UAE Ambassador to Pakistan Eisa Abdullah Al Basha Al Nuaimi, Abdullah Khalifa Al Gafli, Director of the UPAP, and senior Pakistani officials.

The college is built on a 34,000 square foot area. It will provide diploma-level technical education for up to 450 students in various disciplines of engineering such as electrical, mechanical, civil and mining.

http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/government/emirati-charity-projec...

Comment by Riaz Haq on April 21, 2013 at 12:29pm

Here's a News story on Pak students participating in international robotics competition:

RAWALPINDI: Pakistan Robotics team will leave for United States of America on April 23 to take part in First Lego League (FLL) international robotics competition to be held on April 24 in United States of America (USA).

According to details, the National Robotics Champions Team would be the first-ever Pakistani team to take part in World Festival. Pakistani team, out of 20 teams, won the regional championship title earlier in qualifying round held for the International competition.

It was also the winner team in the national robotics championship as it defeated 13 other teams.

It may be noted that out of 20,000 teams which took part in the competition worldwide, only 85 teams were declared successful as they cleared the national qualifying rounds. Now they would take part in the FLL World Festival to be held from April 24 to April 27 in Saint Louis, Missouri.

Three-member team comprising Vice Captain Muhammad Rafay Arshad, Abdullah Gulraiz and Umar Khalique along with coach Saeed Akhtar will leave on Tuesday.

The team members have expressed the hope that they will win the international title for Pakistan.

Earlier, the team comprised 7 members but now only three team members will participate in world festival along with their coach, said a statement. (PPI)

http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-97782-Pakistan-robotics-team-to-c...

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 4, 2013 at 4:57pm

Here's an Express Tribune story on US aid for skills development in Pakistan:

ISLAMABAD: The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has dedicated $33.9 million to continue the Training for Pakistan Project, which is being implemented by World Learning.
The project is designed to offer education opportunities to more than 6,000 Pakistani professionals over the next four years, says a statement issued by USAID here today.
The Project will support Pakistan’s development priorities in the key sectors of energy, economic growth, agriculture, health, and education by making these capacity building opportunities available locally, regionally, or internationally for Pakistani professionals and decision-makers.

This project stems out of US’s policy to focus on people-to-people engagement with Pakistan specially highlighted in the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act.
The USAID Training for Pakistan Project will provide a full range of training services including needs assessments, training program design and implementation, participant recruitment and selection, technical assistance, and monitoring and evaluation.
“This partnership with USAID will allow World Learning to empower Pakistani individuals and organisations to become more engaged stakeholders in their country’s development,” World Learning President and CEO, Donald Steinberg said.
“The programme will help equip Pakistan’s future leaders with the skills they need to advance peace, democracy and development,” he added.
The project will also facilitate the formation of an USAID alumni association of training participants for a discourse on country’s development issues and experience sharing.
After completing training programmes, the alumni will also have an opportunity to apply for small grants to fund development projects inspired by their training courses. The project will extend follow-on post-training support.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/627205/honing-skills-usaid-to-spend-34m...

Comment by Riaz Haq on December 13, 2013 at 7:13pm

Here's an Express Tribune report on youth business loans in Pakistan:

With his new financing scheme for the youth, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday unveiled a plan to enable budding entrepreneurs to run their business ventures.
The Youth Business Loans initiative is the government’s delivery of a promise made during the election campaign. “During the election campaign, I witnessed the vigour and enthusiasm that the youth showed, and promised that if voted to power, the PML-N would empower the youth of Pakistan so they can contribute effectively towards the development of the country,” he said at the launch of the scheme.
The chairperson of the prime minister’s Youth Business Loans scheme, Maryam Nawaz, said the aim was to convert young ‘dependents’ into ‘providers’.
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The scheme is designed to provide subsidised financing at eight percent mark-up per annum for 100,000 beneficiaries through National Bank of Pakistan and First Women Bank.
The total mark up rate would be 15 per cent but the government would pay the remaining seven percent on behalf of the applicants.
Those falling in the age group of 21 and 45 years are eligible to apply for loans from Rs100,000 to Rs2,000,000.
Small business loans with a tenure of up to seven years plus one-year grace period and a debt-equity ratio of 90:10 will be disbursed across the country including Gilgit-Baltistan‚ Azad Jammu and Kashmir and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.
Youth will have an eight-year payback period with the first year as a grace period for repayment.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/642764/pm-business-loans-scheme-govt-la...

Comment by Riaz Haq on February 16, 2014 at 10:14pm

Here's a PakistanToday story on Danish aid to train youth parliamentarians in democracy:

Denmark has launched a US$ 3.5 million a three-year new programme for Pakistan on democratic development and good governance. The programme, a joint collaboration with Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT), was announced during the presentation of Pakistan Report of State of Democracy in South Asia an event organised recently by PILDAT with support of the Danish International development agency (Danida). An important feature of the new programnme is the engagement of youth in democratic processes and dialogue.

According to Denmark Ambassador to Pakistan Sorensen, this programme has a special focus on instilling democratic values in the youth through the Youth Parliament programme.

Under this programme, young people from across the country are trained in the values of democracy. This creates understanding, respect and tolerance for other people’s opinions – besides being an innovative approach to engage youth in such an important process, he added.

He said that Denmark is also providing support to primary education in the conflict affected areas.

“We are now also more focused on facilitating contacts between Danish and Pakistani businesses so that we can create jobs, growth and ultimately eliminate poverty”, he added.

Appreciating the Denmark support, PILDAT Executive Director Ahmed Bilal Mehboob said it is in everyone’s interest that we strengthen the democratic progressive forces in Pakistan, so that we do not leave the playing field to the radical forces.

He said through this programme, PILDAT will implement five projects including Assessment of the Quality of Democracy, Youth Parliament Pakistan, Citizens periodic Reports on the performance of state institutions such as the National Assembly, Provincial Assemblies and Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Studies (PIPS) and processes such as the study of Civil-Military Relations and learning from international examples while maintaining close inter-action with national and provincial legislators from various parties, Comparative Assessment and Score Card on Quality of Governance in Federal and Provincial Governments and Development of Political Parties and leadership It may be mentioned here that the new PILDAT programme is a part of the overall US$ 50 million development programme for Pakistan, which was launched by the Government of Denmark in November 2013.

http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2014/02/16/city/denmark-to-spend-3-...

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