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    Jobless Kunduz graduates turn to menial jobs

    KUNDUZ CITY (PAN): Lack of jobs and pressing poverty is forcing some Afghan university graduates to toil in laborious brick kilns instead of focusing on their own professions in northern Kunduz.

    About 15 graduates are jobless over the past two years, without any offers from government departments or non-governmental organisations, while many people with minimum qualifications are working in key positions in the public sector, lament the youths.

    For instance, Qari Momin, a graduate from the Agriculture Faculty of Kunduz University, could not secure a decent job in his own field due to corruption in government departments, so he has taken a job in the brick kiln.

    For his back-breaking work, he earns a paltry 500 afghanis ($4) per day but recently he even lost that precious income after the brick furnace ceased operations due to the cold weather, he added.

    Similarly, Syed Abdullah, could not find any job after graduating from the Education Faculty in Takhar University.

    Recently, the province’s mayor promised to appoint him at the 5th grade in the government department, said Abdullah, adding that if he is employed his financial hardship would be lessened.

    Head of Youth’s Department of the Directorate of Information and Cultural Affairs, Abdul Ghafoor Hotak said they managed to source jobs for 15 graduated youths in the brick kilns.

    Currently, more than 320 educated youths, including master, bachelor and bachelorette graduates, of whom 180 of them are females, are jobless.

    The issue of unemployed graduates was discussed with the related officials, but no one has taken any step to hire qualified youths so far, he added.

    “If the government failed to find jobs for these people, the number of educated people without jobs would multiply every year and this would discourage youths from pursuing higher education,” said Hotak.

    However, director of Labours and Social Affairs, Masooma Yaqin, said they have offered work opportunities for more than 4,500 people this year in the province.

    She acknowledged that 60 percent of the educated youths and youths without academic qualifications are jobless in the province and searching for jobs.