Recently I asked one of my friends, “What’s your plan after graduating high school?” He said, “Well let’s see, my sister lives in Australia, so I think I’ll be applying to a university there.” Many Nepali high school students will have the same answer. In Nepal, the trend of going abroad is so high that every household in the country has at least one family member who is studying, working or living abroad. Many youngsters, who leave the country for higher studies, set their mind to get a job and settle down in foreign land. This may sound as a common phenomenon but it can result in long term economic problems for developing nations like Nepal.
We hear about millions of Nepali going to Middle East and other nations as migrant workers but the rate of students going aboard and settling there is also at same level. So both ways, we are dramatically losing our labor force.
It is true that the country is getting lots of money in terms of remittance and the state spends the same money in education and health of the youth but the country wouldn’t get back its investment on the youth when they decide to leave the nation. Relying in remittance is not a sustainable means to economic development.
The young Nepali is vulnerable to the problem of brain drain. None of us want to leave our family, friends, relatives and our nation but due to political instability, economic downturn, lack of employment opportunities, low income and many other factors we are compelled to go abroad. Many individuals are attracted by job security and the possibility to improve the standard of living of their descendents.
Lately we celebrated the International Youth Day with the theme “The road to 2030: eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable consumption and production.” But if we see Nepal’s sustainability, it is not sustainable at all. Majority of the younger population is going abroad and instead of contributing to develop Nepal, they are spending their most valuable and productive time in already developed nations. Thus if the youths of Nepal keep following this trend of going abroad, one day a situation may arise where there will be no youth in Nepal. If the concerned stakeholders don’t address this situation in time, this practice of brain drain can put Nepal’s future at serious risk.
Sagar is a final year high school student in Uniglobe Higher Secondary School. He blogs at sagarjungkarki.blogspot.com