By Khin Maung Oo
The affair of migrant workers is one of the problems our country is urgently solving these days. To put it simply, under the current situation it cannot be dealt with effectively until now, though it has been a controversy since a long time ago. On considering the problem carefully, it must be said to be a tremendous drain of our human resources. At such a time when all countries of the world are vying to reach developed-country status, we will reach our destination promptly if we could add intellect, skills and technical knowledge to our labor force. Now our country is marching towards a Federal Democratic Union, thus the problem of loss of human labor and brain drain needs to be solved by treating this as a national problem with a view to improving our national economy.
Very recently, a massive influx of migrant Myanmar laborers working in Thailand returned to our home country. They left Thailand in response to the new labor law which had been enacted recently in Thailand. In total about 35,000 or so returned. Meanwhile, it has been found that young skilled workers from Thailand are being employed by a big enterprise in Myanmar. They came to work in Myanmar because they were paid more than the amount of remuneration they got in Thailand. Another reason may be because they possess better skills than Myanmar youths.
Myanmar youths are working at tiresome and low-paid hard labor sites, whereas alien workers are working in highly skilled jobs. Looking at the current situation objectively, our youths must better them out of an indomitable spirit. As it is, compared to that of foreign countries, the status of education of our country has lagged behind to an alarming extent. Plus, shortage of employment opportunities in the country and lack of skilled laborers and very low wages led to the exodus of youths as laborers to countries such as Thailand and Malaysia.
If we want sustainable development not only for earning more family income but also for nation building and economic development of our country, strengthening human resources is of great importance, and it is necessary for us to formulate long-term plans for producing highly skilled and experienced human resources.
The challenges and difficulties we are currently facing have been attributed to a variety of reasons experienced during several decade. It is therefore very important that the Union Government promptly spends time and energy to draw up short-term, medium term and long-term plans after looking at this problem holistically. As for a developing country, poverty, low education standards, unemployment and problems of migrant workers are not strange. But, the problem of brain drain must be dealt with great care, with a view to prioritizing sustainable economic development and capacity building.
To sum it up, we must try our best to create more job opportunities in the country in many ways. Moreover, we must focus our attention to foster the development of SMEs and at the same time encourage foreign investments to come into our country.
In this way our youths will acquire the necessary skills and experience to get better paying jobs in Myanmar. This would indeed be a step in the right direction.
By Khin Maung Oo