Tuesday Jul 16, 2024
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Why young people want to leave Nepal?

The youth from both urban and rural Nepal prefer leaving the country for various reasons

2022 May 07, 6:44,
Representative image. (Photo: AP)

Every year thousands of Nepalese leave Nepal in search of better employment or for education. A huge portion of our rural youth population migrates to the gulf and other countries in search of employment. In the hopes of earning enough to support their families and to follow their dream of better economic development, they leave the country as migrant laborers.

In 2019, more than 5.5 million Nepali youth applied for permission and seek authorization letters to leave for foreign employment. This figure is growing every year. Under the Foreign Employment Act 1985, the government has to issue letters of authorization to facilitate migration to aspiring migrants.

According to the Nepal Labour Department data from July 2020 to July 2021, the final number approved for working abroad for men was 155,242, and women was 11,456.

Rebika Thami, from Dolakha, says, “I’m taking Korean classes to apply for a 5-year working visa in Korea. I feel like there's no point in staying in Nepal as there are no proper employment opportunities and income sources.”

While many youths leave Nepal in search of jobs, in urban areas youth aspire to leave the country too but for different reasons.

Sudarshan Dhan Tuladhar who recently went to Australia in 2022 for further studies, says, “What I want to study is there in Nepal; commerce, management courses. A lot of universities are providing it. But usually what happens is, the approach to teaching is not adapted to the current needs of industries.”

Giving an example he added that colleges in Nepal just have Majors in Marketing and Finance if a student wants to study commerce. He personally wanted to do a double degree in economics and financial economics.

“The second reason is that in Nepal there are extracurricular activities along with academics, but that is very limited. Case competitions happen very rarely. But here, just last week I participated in a case competition where I got all the knowledge related to my course study. Along with that, they have opportunities like vocational programs and internships in very big companies,” he explains.

Those experiences not only look good in CVs but also provide great experience. After finishing his studies, he plans to do a few years of post-study work. And if he can convert the internship into a permanent position, then he’ll do masters education or come back to Nepal.

A review from 2011 to 2019 reveals that the number of Nepalese students travelling abroad for higher education increased by seven-folds. According to the Nepal Education, Science and Technology immigration, more than 300,000 students are enrolled in various universities around the world.

Nepal’s Foreign Education Department Chief, Girman Thapa, says that the exact number of Nepali students who applied for permission to study abroad in 2019 was 323,972.

Amrit Shrestha is a 34 years old. He says, “I came to Amsterdam for further studies in my 20s. I do go back and forth once a year to Nepal. I got married in Nepal and brought my wife here. Also, last year I bought a house in Amsterdam which I don’t think would be possible if I stayed in Nepal and so I haven’t thought about returning back.”

Shrestha says that the wages he would get in Nepal is not that enough to fulfil the basic needs of a family. If you have your own business then it’s another thing. However, businesses in Nepal are rarely successful.

According to the 28 years old Dibya who plans to leave Nepal soon, “I don’t want to leave but the course I want (automotive design) is not available in Nepal. Being independent, having freedom and gaining experience are also the other reasons why I’m leaving. Also, other countries have better opportunities and exposure. I don’t know if I’ll return to Nepal, only time will tell.

And it is not only males who are leaving the country. Astha RL Rana, 25, says, “First, I want to be an independent person and second, going abroad means earning more and I can do what I want to as I will have freedom and also opportunities. Societies of foreign countries are more modern and open, they are less judgmental and nobody will care about what I do or wear.”

Rana feels that going to abroad means exploring more opportunities and having self-growth, which will enhance her life. “I don’t think I want to return and settle down in Nepal,” she adds.


Nepalese better employment Nepali youth migration Nepal Labour Department Korea urban areas double degree academic post-study work travelling abroad seven-folds science technology Amsterdam immigration
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