November 17, 2023
DHAKA – A study has revealed that 55 percent of its respondents believe Bangladesh is not a peaceful country, while 57 percent say the state of justice has deteriorated in the country over the last five years.
The findings were revealed in the “Youth Matters Survey 2023”, conducted by Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BYLC) in collaboration with Brac University’s Center for Peace and Justice (CPJ), which surveyed 5,609 participants aged 16-35 via Facebook.
The study’s lead researcher, Hossain Mohammed Omar Khayum, presented the report at a press conference in Dhaka yesterday.
Khayum said 88.8 percent of youths identified corruption as one of the major challenges for the country’s development. Simultaneously, 67.3 percent pointed to unemployment, while 50.5 percent noted inflation and economic crisis as major challenges.
It also revealed that 68.6 percent believe the current education system does not adequately equip them with necessary skills to secure employment or establish businesses.
Executive Director of BYLC, Tahsinah Ahmed, said to improve the situation, youths asked for more training in leadership, communication, and soft skills. Around 58 percent of youths also expressed the need for improvement in the teachers’ quality.
Additionally, 61.8 percent of respondents said their physical and mental health was negatively impacted by price hikes, while 40 percent were affected by job insecurity.
Some 73.4 percent of youths opined that they have faced negative impacts of climate change over the years.
Besides, 71.5 percent of respondents said they feel unsafe when expressing their opinions on public platforms like social media.
Despite concerns, 72 percent expressed interest in participating in general elections.
The study showcased that, due to these challenges, 42.4 percent of young people plan to move abroad.
However, Tahsinah voiced optimism saying, “Despite all these challenges, we have a ray of hope that around 57 percent of youths still remain optimistic about Bangladesh’s future.”
“We are also overwhelmed with the 85.5 percent who wish to return to the country if the situation is resolved,” she added.
BYLC’s founder and executive chairperson Ejaj Ahmad said, “We should not see the youth as future leaders, but as current leaders.”
“To ensure meaningful youth participation, we should not only incorporate their viewpoints into our national policies but also provide space for them to exercise leadership at local and national levels, including politics, business, and civil sectors,” he added.
The study was conducted in all eight divisions and covered eight different topics — livelihood, health, education, climate change, democratic institutions and governance, peace and justice, migration, information, and perception.
BYLC conducts a survey every five years, especially before national elections, to provide Bangladeshi youths with the space to voice their aspirations and concerns about the country’s present state and future.