Chasing the golden deer of government jobs
All educated boys and girls cherish the dream of finding well-paid jobs after finishing their academic studies. In a country like Bangladesh, government jobs are the first and foremost choice for the young people. According to most of the job applicants, government jobs offer certain benefits which do not exist much in private service in the country. Most of the students, for this reason, start preparing for government jobs even before their academic education is over.
Students in our country are frequently found running to and fro coaching centers, buying professional guidebooks, going through current affairs magazines as part of their hectic endeavors to grab government jobs. Finding government jobs has always been a challenging pursuit while this phenomenon has become much more difficult and complicated in the current times as a much higher number of students than ever before are passing from different universities with postgraduate degrees.
When it comes to government jobs, most of the students put Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) on top of their list of priorities. Some students look for jobs in private firms too but they are heavily outnumbered by those chasing the golden deer of government jobs.
Students all over the country demonstrated for quota reforms last few days which ended through Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's declaration to cancel the existing quota system for entry in government service. A few undesirable occurrences happened while the anti-quota demonstration was going on. Some miscreants attacked and vandalized the residence of Vice Chancellor, Dhaka University.
Some demonstrators were injured while colliding with policemen. The situation was further worsened by the awkward comments from a few ministers. Anyway, things at last calmed down through the Prime Minister's announcement to revoke all quotas for government jobs.
It may sound bitter but still I want to assert that most people in our country often dump all moral principles for government jobs. There are repeated allegations that lots of applicants have to pay big sums of bribes to higher officials, politicians, lobbyists, brokers for jobs in government offices but no remarkable demonstration ever took place protesting bribery, political influence or nepotism.
These things are much more harmful than quotas. We know private service in Bangladesh offers very little professional safety but fighting with cops, blocking roads, smashing vehicles, halting classes and exams are no remedial way either to grab government jobs. Lack of moral uprightness is at the root of all hazards. Moreover, most of the educated people around us have big degrees but they have extremely insufficient knowledge on their own academic disciplines. So, blaming only quota system for rising unemployment rate presents an incomplete, vague picture.
I have heard many educationists raising the question why everyone should try to get hold of government jobs at any cost. Illusion for government jobs makes young people so blind in our country that they totally forget about ethical norms. They absolutely do not care about differentiating the right things from the wrong ones. Most of the young people who are desperate for jobs in government service often do not hesitate to initiate unfair means for this purpose.
Corruption, dishonesty and fall of moral sense arise from the insatiable thirst for government jobs among young people across the country. Not just bribery during recruitment, bribe is allegedly exchanged for transfer, promotion and for jumping over some other bureaucratic barriers throughout Bangladesh as far as government service is concerned.
Almost everyone in the country is aware of these unlawful things. References are often made to corruption, bribery, ethical infringements in seminars, conferences, newspapers and on television channels too. It is tough to get things done by government officials without paying bribes-such complaints have come from thousands of people from different corners of Bangladesh. But it hurts us to see that students in our country have not yet staged any protests against these malpractices.
We have not yet seen any job applicant chanting slogans protesting bribes in government offices. It is an ominous sign for a country when its young generation gets ready to violate moral codes for securing government jobs. People who pay bribes before joining government service, they will undoubtedly take money from others in illegal ways later on.
People who obtain government jobs through nepotism, they will definitely recruit employees in the same manner. People who enter government jobs by using political connections, they will deprive qualified jobseekers who cannot prove political backup. In this way the vicious circle of immoral activities goes on ceaselessly and ruins everything on its way.
Corruption has taken up such a monstrous form in our country because most of the common citizens either endorse it or tolerate it silently. Paying bribes to civil servants has become a very usual instance in Bangladesh though it should be stated that all government officials are not corrupted. Some officials are working with full honesty and responsibility-such examples are also found sometimes.
The educated boys and girls of our country should realize the fact that there is a great deal of prospects in Bangladesh's private sector. Lots of private firms pay healthy salaries and other monetary privileges to their employees. Instead of just craving for government jobs, young people should equip themselves with necessary knowledge and skills to become capable of getting good jobs in private sector too. If a student cannot manage a government job, that is not the end of the road. Motivation from parents and educational institutions is very important in this regard.
The writer is a columnist for The Asian Age