HUMAN CAPITAL IN PAKISTAN
MANAN ASLAM, DR. ABDUL GHAFOOR,
Jan 16 - 22, 2012
Delivering comprehensive growth is possible only through the growth of the citizens. There is a need to impart skills, training and education at all levels to match the changing needs of our country.
Human capital is the axle around which the long term revolution of our nation has to be shaped. Human capital is one of the most imperative features of production and serves as locomotive of economic acceleration through innovation, creation, and value addition. Its importance in this competitive world has been amplified manifold. So, investment in human capital is basis for the growth in physical capital and this, sequentially, results in economic growth.
Pakistan has one of the highest population growth rates in the world. 1n 2011, its population was estimated at around 177.1 million. Not only does the huge population contribute to the poverty in the nation, but the conservative Islamic views of the populace and low literacy rates particularly in women also hinder its progress and growth initiatives over time.
It is the need of the time that we should focus on development of our human resources which will eventually accelerate the pace of economic development and growth.
Mostly business and government dealings depend on English, causing additional difficulties for the uneducated population primarily in the rural areas.
According to the Pakistan Labor Force Survey 2009-10, the overall literacy rate (10 years of age and above) is 57.7 percent (69.5 percent for male and 45.2 percent for female) compared to 57.4 percent (69.3 percent for male and 44.7 percent for female) for 2008-09. The survey illustrates that literacy remains higher in urban areas (73.2 percent) than in rural areas (49.2 percent), and is more common for men (80.2 percent) compared to women (65.5 percent) in rural areas.
Presently, women have become more ordinary in the workplace in the urban sector, with sharp increase in employment of women prior to marriage. The cause for drop in employment by women after marriage mainly in the middle and upper classes in urban areas is due to the patriarchal society of Pakistan.
The most understandable solution to increasing human capital levels, and thereby productivity, would be to increase spending levels on education, frequently in the rural areas, and present more and more incentives for increasing attendance to administrations.
Education sector is ripe for reform in Pakistan, with the inequality of the provision of education being up till now another reason to introduce educational reforms.
Economic efforts should always be targeted towards providing a distinguished living to the citizens of a country so that they can survive gleefully and participate in the national growth of the nation.
It is not only the increasing growth figures that benefit a country but the trickledown effect of national growth and development on country inhabitants may matter even more.
There is extreme inequality in income distribution in Pakistan. It gives birth to class inequality, poverty, poor human development and so on. In a way, it devours overall growth and development of the nation. Poverty is a severe danger because it manifests itself in a multifaceted web whose threads are interwoven with the subjects of illiteracy, income distribution disparities, lack of access to facilities, faulty polices etc.
There is need of a multidimensional solution to address not only absolute poverty but all issues responsible for triggering poverty.
The most viable solution to attack poverty and its evils is human development, as humans are the true chattels of any nation and all development efforts are truly reflected in the state of their wellbeing.
In nutshell, it is concluded that education windfalls can be achieved only through proper planning and implementation of policies. In this regard, both public and private sectors will have to work jointly by sharing responsibilities and mutual coordination.
Furthermore, government should increase spending on education, particularly women education in rural areas. This in turn will reduce birth rates and ultimately lessen poverty over the long run, as well as lead to higher levels of sustainable economic growth on a large pool of potential workers so far unassimilated in the labor force.