Youth future in the balance [Archives:2005/875/Community]

September 8 2005

By Emad Jawi & N'ama Azazi
For the Yemen Times

After 17 years of education and training, what will the outcome be for the students of today? After minds have been armed with science and technology, to what use will their efforts be put? Will we exploit these minds to benefit our society or will they be ignored to become an extra burden?

It's no secret that your education or training doesn't necessarily assure the nature of your employment. A graduate from the faculty of commerce and economics has become a teacher of Islamic education in primary stages. A holder of bachelor degree from the department of English at the faculty of arts has become a seller at a clothes shop.

But what change is in scales. Where is the gap? Does it lie in the scale or in the owner of the scale? Such questions revolve in the minds of graduates. Which party is responsible for such changes? Why are opportunities limited to those with connections and denied those with potential.

Young people may grow up in a poor environment, dominated by difficulties and suffering. They are found to conduct their ways surpassing any barriers or problems. They find themselves compelled to grasp any job opportunity as a source of income to sustain their families and meet their basic needs even though these opportunities do not fit their training. The main reason behind this is “connection”, a phenomenon that is widely spread in our society and gives an opportunity only for those who already have an access to it.

People who have connections can achieve their ambitions at the expense of others who are able and skilled to occupy vacancies. This phenomenon is widespread, persistent and reinforcing.

What about tomorrow? Will such a situation remain as a nightmare in occupying minds of our youth who hold university certificates? We tend to fear our future and what will happen, and become floating between the reality of the present in the mirage of the future.

There are some who escape this awful conundrum, but the majority do not. Opportunities are limited and usually monopolized by those in power. One is left wondering if education in Yemen was useful to the students or just a one way ticket to dissatisfaction.