What can we do to curtail the ill-effects of COVID as well as the congestion of job exams? According to many of the job applicants, the age limit to enter into the government job field should be increased due to the year loss owing to pandemic. Especially, who are at the margin of the age limit is demanding the upliftment to age barriers though government has taken an initiative to publish job circulars backdated six months. Writes Rakib Uddin Ahmed
Bangladesh, as a densely populous country, has obviously been hit hard by the deadly COVID-19 since December 2019 – almost a year ago. But, from its noxious effects, we, the people of Bangladesh as well as all around the world, don’t have the luxury to immune ourselves even after the arrival of vaccine especially— if not mentioned the presence of new mutated versions—seeing at the high infectious and fatality rates.
In particular, this horrendous virus has culminated the sufferings and distress of job seekers both in public and private sector which is ever present in the employment sector. The condition, since the emergence of Covid-19, has even been exaggerated because of indefinite suspension of job exams for almost one year though which are happening has meager employment opportunities. The picture will be crystal clear if we take into account of present unemployment rate, according to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), which is 4.37 per cent among them 46 percent constituted university graduates and after this pandemic, the number will be even higher. In urban areas of Dhaka and Chattogram around 68 percent of the people who had to stop working due to the pandemic have lost their jobs, according to a World Bank report.
Moreover, what the pandemic has notoriously done is that it accelerated the present unemployment rate by putting the marginal section of people both in formal and informal sectors into forced leave, retirements, layoffs and even cutoffs in salary. That the rate of the job losses was 76 percent in the capital while it was 59 percent in the port city, said the report, titled “Losing Livelihoods: The labor market impacts of Covid-19 in Bangladesh is a prove to that.
Such prevailing conditions are not only affecting the job seekers aspirations in economically, socially and mentally but also their family’s dreams, hopes and reliability. Do such terrible conditions turn off soon? By observing the recent insurgency of corona pandemic, there is hardly any sign of hope. “Situations are worsening more and more. While studying, at least, we know when the exams will happen and there is an approximate schedule of how things will go around. But, after coming into the job field and especially after the emergence of pandemic, things are quite unpredictable. Nobody has the slightest hint of when the normal situation will restore,” according to a job seeker preparing for government jobs named Faruk. Another person who recently lost his job due to pandemic anonymously said, ” Arrival of pandemic has surged instability in private jobs and it engendered layoffs to maintain the increasing costs of the industries”. Such ordeals are not only hurting their mental peace but also elevating the anxiety when they will take the responsibility of their families as an earning member.
However, uncertainties like these can even destabilize social harmony, accelerate crime rates and deteriorate mental health. Signs of those, while reading newspaper or, turning on news channels, are also quite visible. According to the Police Headquarters, 18,006 cases were recorded at police stations across the country in January, 17,472 in February, 17,150 in March, 9,098 in April, 11,500 in May and 13,192 in June which is published in the local media. Hence, the ongoing and forthcoming situation can be even more distressful and challenging so, it is obligatory to take apposite steps to mitigate the backlashes of COVID pandemic.
What can we do to curtail the ill-effects of COVID as well as the congestion of job exams? According to many of the job applicants, the age limit to enter into the government job field should be increased due to the year loss owing to pandemic. Especially, who are at the margin of the age limit is demanding the upliftment to age barriers though government has taken an initiative to publish job circulars backdated six months. But seeing the recent high infectious rate and observing the current deadlock situation, is it enough to alleviate their moroseness? Concerned authorities have to consider this situation wisely. Additionally, job exams can be taken in divisional areas as like BCS exam which will not only maintain and ensure hygienic guidelines by WHO but also save the cost of travelling. Especially, at this juncture period, economic cost is a great matter of concern for the unemployed. It will also help us to release the burden of traffic jam and more reliability on capital city which has been told by our urban planners at various occasions. To move and restore the economic cycle, we need to resolve the employment issue a grave concern for today’s generation.
So, isn’t it a time of need to take job exams, following hygienic guidelines, to obviate the burden of insecurities and give the job seekers a ray of hope to smile?
Rakib Uddin Ahmed is a Civil Engineer from CUET