Sunday, May 19, 2024

LOSS OF THE MIND, AND BRAIN GONE

 These days, thanks to a friend of mine who lectures at the South East Europe University, I had a very pleasant conversation with a group of students. We were discussing the departure of young people from the country and the reasons for making such a decision. It’s not that they don’t love their hometown, it’s not that they aren’t aware of what awaits them beyond the border, but without flinching they say that meritocracy during employment leaves a lot to be desired!

AUTHOR: SELADIN XHEZAIRI

The transition in Southeast Europe continues to take its toll even when it comes to population movements. The migration from the village to the city (Capitals), except for the case of Slovenia or even Croatia, is somewhat of a phenomenon, to say the least. At the same time, migration abroad is taking on increasingly worrying proportions, without which the policy makers do not stop trumpeting that they are working to stop the influx. In this regard, it seems that the Western Balkans are paying the price of the educational system not being harmonized with the needs of the market. And, especially young people, looking for prospects, know the difference between sugar and alum. When the system loses its image, we will surely have what has entered our language, in the political vocabulary as brain drain. According to the data of the OSCE for the period 2012-2016, for example, about ten thousand people left Macedonia per year, mostly young people, 15,700 from Serbia, and something more than 18,000 from Bosnia and Herzegovina. An alarm bell, that is why the phenomenon of securing the passports of European Union member countries (in our case mainly Bulgaria) is currently also taking on political overtones

. But let’s not get away from the topic: The departure of young people, the brain drain, is not typical only for North Macedonia or the six Balkans. Croatia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia have faced such a phenomenon, who more and who less. I remember that a decade ago Poland citizens emigrated in masse to the United Kingdom, finding work mainly in construction, but in the meantime they both went and left, returned to their country. There are those who look at the world enough to remove their worries and quickly return to their homeland. Beyond that, it is in the hands of the authorities, namely the authorities in the region, that is, us, to build such education policies, and this necessarily requires a permanent cooperation with interest groups, precisely with the needs of the market, in a way that investments in education do not go to waste. Some time ago, the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) published an analysis, after two years of work, according to which North Macedonia annually loses 333 million euros, Montenegro, 70, Kosovo 519, Albania 559, Bosnia and Herzegovina 710, while Serbia records the highest loss of 897 million euros per year. Add to this the data that the education of a young person (the data are for the year 2019), the word comes in Serbia costs something more than 34 thousand euros, in Montenegro over 31 thousand, in North Macedonia about 29 thousand euros, whereas in Albania more than 18,200 euros, we come to the conclusion that among the greatest successes of any government and any country would be the construction of policies that would prevent the growing trend of abandoning the country. This is how things stand, here in Macedonia, as well as in the region in general, the government seems to be satisfied with the indicators that our immigrants do not forget their homeland, sending and investing the money earned abroad.

At the same time, whether the Kosovo diaspora or the Bosnia and Herzegovina and Albania diaspora lead in this plan, the data show that North Macedonia is not doing well. Because of this, the necessity of a structural solution to the problems is imposed. Experts say it would be more effective, to put it mildly, to help businesses, employers and firms create new jobs and ease the employment tax burden than to focus on so-called active employment measures. And, to account for narrowing the differences between urban and rural areas. The latter, due to lack of investment, are also the poorest and, therefore, their emptiness is also a reality.

These days, thanks to a friend of mine who lectures at the of South East Europe University, I had a very pleasant conversation with a group of students. We were discussing the departure of young people from the country and the reasons for making such a decision. It’s not that they don’t love their hometown, it’s not that they aren’t aware of what awaits them beyond the border, but without flinching they say that meritocracy during employment leaves a lot to be desired!

Të fundit