Chandra Kumar Phuyal
One of my relatives has recently flown abroad. His long cherished dream of pursuing a PhD and ultimately settling in the United States America (USA) is going to materialise when he got a student visa for his dreamland. With the visa in hand and good preparation in both mind and emotion, he didn’t take even a second to decide in abandoning the country to grab the opportunity.
He is just an example of the desperate youths among many flying abroad daily. As per the Department of Labour and Employment, around 800 youths fly abroad daily in search of better opportunities. The number of students who ultimately settle in the countries they go for higher education is even scary. Yet, there are no effective measures taken by the government to retain the youths going abroad and persuading them to return home. As a result, the number of both the students going abroad for higher study and the young people searching for jobs is exponentially growing year after year. As a result, the country is losing its essential industrial and productive youths at home who are desperately needed for the nation building.
According to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, the number of students acquiring the ‘No Objection Certificate’ was 62,800 in 2075 BS and 63,259 in 2076 B.S. The government records show the number of students opting for abroad study has increased four-fold in the last six years. As per the official figures of Australian and American governments, Nepal is the 3rd and the 13th largest source country respectively for their international students’ intake which is a terribly huge despite having such a smaller population.
It is heart breaking to read that around 88 per cent of the students going to Australia and the USA settle there abandoning their nationality. This figure is really alarming for the country’s development for we lose not only a large amount of money that the students spend while studying abroad but also lose better groomed and well-equipped youths. It is for sure that if we had competitive standard of education and abundant job opportunities at home we would never have lost the human resource of this country.
“What is the use of studying in Nepal as there is no conducive environment for quality education? It is also too expensive for medical students to study in Nepal,” said Aashish Khanal of Koteshwar, who is going to pursue an MBBS in Shanghai of China.
For the both educated and uneducated people, the number of unemployment is very high in the country and this not only makes it difficult for youngsters to earn a living, but also the country’s economy is being badly affected. According to the Public Service Commission, there were 5,060,000 applicants for 5,000 vacancies of various posts announced recently. That clearly reveals the extreme joblessness in the country. Every year between 300,000 to 400,000 Nepali youths are out looking for jobs. But only five per cent of them are able to get employed, according to Nepal Labour Survey 2015. The remaining youths leave the country.
They look for job opportunities in the countries such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Malaysia, and South Korea. They accept the jobs that are not worthy for their qualification.
How can I live in Nepal shouldering all these responsibilities of running the family, paying the kids’ school fees and buying regular medicines for old parents without any income source? There are few industries and modern agricultural enterprises in Nepal that could offer job opportunities, says Ramesh Maharjan of Gatthaghar, Bhaktapur who is flying to the UAE in search of a job. The Department of Labour and Employment’s data show that more than 5.5 million Nepali youths are currently working in foreign countries. Official reports reveal that both of these most productive people going abroad for study and labour spend most of their youthful time abroad. So, Nepal has recently been turned to be the land of elderly and retired people which is very precarious situation for the country’s progress.
The future of the country lies in the hands of its youths without which we cannot mobilise resources and make the country prosperous. Of course, remittance has been a great financial support for the country for quite a while but it works only for temporary solution. Until we retain the youths within the country, it is impossible for materialising the slogan of “Prosperous Nepal and Happy Nepali”, which is conceptualised by the present government. The dream of the government is, of course, very important and attractive. But it would not be possible for the country to achieve the goal of economic prosperity if we continue to lose our youth power.
(Phuyal is a freelancer who writes on social issues. He can be reached at
Published: 16 August 2019/ The Rising Nepal