The 40th BCS just took place in Bangladesh. Congratulations to all the applicants who have managed to be qualified to sit for BCS preliminary examination. For sure, to be able to sit for the preliminary examination is a quality as because not that all the fresh and old graduates in Bangladesh get the opportunity to be even qualified for the preliminary examination of BCS. There are some prerequisite qualities to be qualified to sit for the initial examination. So, the examinees who have successfully crossed that hurdle, of course, deserve felicitation. But simultaneously I would like to convey my heartfelt sympathy for the examinees because more than 99 per cent of the examinees wouldn’t make it at the end of the day. Yes, you heard it right, more than 99 per cent wouldn’t be able to make it because around 330,000 applicants took part this year for only 1903 vacant positions.
On September 11 last year, BPSC (Bangladesh Public Service Commission) issued a circular for the 40th BCS examination to fill 1,903 vacant posts of general, technical and professional cadres. Two years back, when we heard more than 200,000 applicants are fighting for 2,000 positions that raised this question why almost all the graduates want to be BCS officer. Now every year roughly 100,000 new applicants are added to this list. In fact, this year 412,000 applicants got qualified this time but due to the cyclone Fani hitting on that day, around 80,000 students failed to attend the exam.This has been a common trend over the last two decades among the graduates of the country that most of them become BCS officers which is a fantastic wish with their respective career because cadre service in Bangladesh is a dream job in all respects. But the painful truth is this dream job will not come true for 99 per cent applicants which is a harsh reality but this is the fact. Back in late 80s and early 90s in our university days, students were not that much desperate about BCS jobs; rather they had fascination for MNCs (multi national companies), different international organisations, INGOs, banks and buying houses which was a new trend in job market that time. I did see a few of my classmates being serious for BCS but they were not too many in number and from our close group, nobody in fact landed on BCS jobs. But they all are doing well in their respective field by dint of their merit and hard work.
Well, all these jobs are there and the number of jobs and vacancies are gradually increasing but the huge challenging part is the number of our graduates is increasing ten to hundred times faster than the number of vacant posts and that has posed all the challenges leading to a fierce competition among applicants and thus leading to a frustration because more than 99 per cent applicants of the 40th BCS wouldn’t be able to make it. They will of course try other government first class or 2nd class jobs and again, it can be well imagined that there will be another fierce competition for every circular and at the end of the day, the number of unemployed graduates will up and up day by day. That has exactly been happening in the last one decade. It is high time we started thinking how to handle this situation as because a few million unemployed graduates are desperately looking for job in the country. It is not only the government’s responsibility but also the responsibility of all the private sector employers. The intellectual and guardians of the society have got a vital role to play. All should sit together, brainstorm together and explore all the possible avenues together to find out a healthy solution to the situation.
Firstly, our attitude towards jobs has to be changed and we have to make our millions of job seekers understand that any job is good to get started. Work is work and that’s it! When you do a job or work, you not only help yourself or your own family; you also help your country to go one step ahead. Our beloved country will not reach its dream height until this huge number of workforce start to contribute and contribution doesn’t mean that it will come from government jobs only; it means whatever you do, do with your utmost sincerity.
So we should convey them the message that let’s not kill our super valuable time waiting and sitting for BCS every year; rather start doing something (whatever that something is) to get my professional life started. I have seen in Canada, what matters here is whether you work or not. What work exactly you are doing doesn’t matter because everybody knows and believes whatever you do is helping out the country at the end of the day. They value their work as contribution to the society, to the country. So, what I first believe, we have to change the attitude towards jobs especially government jobs. ‘After your masters, you should start doing some work whatever that is for your own first experience and simultaneously you can try something else.’ This should be our (government, society, guardians and parents) message to these fresh graduates who are million in number.
Secondly, the government can create awareness about entrepreneurship among these millions of fresh graduates and inspire them to do so by teaching them how to start small entrepreneurship, by offering them small loan and making the entire system very easy for them. This is already in practice in a small way, I know. I am focusing on doing this on a real large basis so that a few million youngsters of our country can get benefit out of it to benefit us later.
A country which is blessed by 170 million people need not ask for any help to anyone in the world, provided they can turn their huge population into human resources. What is needed is a realistic and visionary strategy and its quick implementation. It is said, a journey of thousand mile starts with a single step. We need to take that step!
The writer is an ESL Teacher, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Email: [email protected]