Tuesday, June 29, 2010
A recent survey initiated by the British Council looks at the Youth in Bangladesh and their attitude, aspirations, hopes, concerns and pessimisms. This in-depth survey gives a very interesting reading into the minds of the largest demographic in Bangladesh.
I do hope the leaders of our nation take heed to what we have to say...
Description from British Council
Bangladesh has young people in abundance. We are at once one of the world’s most populous and youngest countries: 61m of our 150m people are under 18 years-of-age.
Commissioned by the British Council, this ‘Next Generation’ report marks a defining moment for Bangladesh. For the first time, we have a snapshot of what Bangladeshis between 15 and 30 think, feel and hope for. We have a picture of their interests, how they spend their free time, and what or who influences them.
There are grounds for optimism: 79 percent are interested in development issues: 70 percent think the country is headed in the right direction. Our youth have a clear identity, are happy (despite overwhelming poverty) and are dedicated to their country and families.
There are fears too: 60 percent fear corruption will worsen; 71 percent are concerned that climate change will result in thousands of displaced people across the country; and an overwhelming majority (78%) fear that the gap between the rich and poor will widen in the next five years.
A Generation Ready to Serve
Above all, this is a generation that wants to get involved: a striking 98 percent want to take part in social work. But in reality, 70 percent don't.
Population projections suggest that in every decade up to 2050, more than 30m young people will achieve adulthood, entering the job market, or starting to raise families.
A country can view each successive generation as a problem – or as a unique opportunity. How we use this ‘youth dividend’ will be critical to our future development.
To use this human capital effectively, our leaders need to listen to the hopes, aspirations and voices of these younger generations – not just today, but tomorrow, and the next day. Each of these 30m individuals, decade by decade, is a potential asset for Bangladesh.
Where young Bangladeshis are given the opportunity, they rise to the occasion, selflessly devoting time and energy to community service, contributing to finding solutions for the daily problems of their neighbourhoods.
Viewing our Young as an Economic Asset
Rather as micro-credit fuels economic development from the ground up, each individual who exercises active citizenship is an asset who builds our communities and improves our livelihoods.
Today, Bangladesh needs a national debate on how we utilise the social and human credit at our disposal. Our proposal is that this debate should result in a youth charter which embodies the hopes, aspirations and rights of our young people – and maps out a path to how they will be realised.
Join the debate and play your part in shaping the future of Bangladesh.