Civil Superior Services (CSS) is the dream job in Pakistan. Almost every young person in the country regardless of the gender wants to become part of it. Therefore, every year almost thousands of people appear in the CSS examination. In last couple of years, due to rising unemployment and squeezing job market in the country, the number of aspirants has been increasing. According to latest figures in the year 2016, 9643 candidates appeared in the exam. This does explain the reason behind the charm of the civil service in Pakistan. As a matter of fact it’s quiet natural. Pakistan was a colony of the British Empire for almost hundred years and as a nation, it has only opted or followed only two things from the empire.One is the English speaking superiority and second one is the civil service. Even after 69 years of independence, thecivil servants are still considered to be gods when it comes to public sector departments.
In these circumstances, this kind of opportunity does attract the youth. Doctors, engineers, and other graduates in different subjects take part in the examination. But the result of the examination does tell a horrible story. In last couple of years, two interesting things have happened. The number of aspirants appearing in the exam has increased gradually in the past few years, while the passing ratio has been on the decline. For example, in the last year’s examination only 202 candidates passed in written examination and only 199 have been able to qualify the interview out of 9643. The passing percentage is only 2.06 percent, which is the lowest since 1947.
The dreams of many hardworking students have been shattered due to this. This is not new when it comes to the CSS examinations. In the past, most of the times candidates failed to clear the English essay or precise and composition papers. The trend has changed a bit over the past few years though. Every year, the aspirants have been targeted in different subjects, including Islamic Studies, Current Affairs or sometimes in any selective subject like Geography, Punjabi or History. Due to this unprofessional practice, every year many young potential candidates failed to clear the exam. Yes, it is true that government sector job is a dream when it comes to developing and socially deprived nations like Pakistan. But it is also true that many intelligent and hardworking minds waste themselves in this process.
The civil services exam has become a game of luck due to such practices. The upper age limit has also been increased, which implies now unemployed youth will waste more time and energy on the luck base exam.
The Planning Commission of Pakistan, which has been responsible for the country’s future initiatives must also rethink the policy of civil service examination. The passing percentage at the primary and secondary school level has been increasing with every passing day. The result of 9th class board examination has been announced couple of weeks ago, where a student took 504 marks out of 505.
It’s quite incredible that on one is breaking the records in terms of high marks and on the other side,students have not been able to clear an exam. The truth is that our examination system is basically based on the cramming; a good crammer can achieve anything, and there is nothing for critical thinkers. Therefore, most of the times whenever these students appeared in any exam which is based on the critical ability, they failed to pass or perform.
It is essential to begin a process of reform in the educational system. The students must be taught or encouraged to critically evaluate the things. It will not only increase the level of intelligence but will also be helpful for the career selection process. There is life beyond the civil service. It is true that civil servants are the lords of the nation but sometimes it’s better to be a commoner. The current civil service examination process has nothing to do with intelligence. It is all about hard luck. A student cannot be declared dull if he or she has scored 700 plus marks and failed to clear the English essay paper by one or two marks. Similarly the aspirants must also remember the fact that academies or coaching centers are not built for the competitive examinations.
The civil service reforms are the need of the hour. It is essential to give importance to the other professional from the different departments, so that the people, more specifically youth of Pakistan can be able to understand the fact that respect, money and prosperity can not only be earned by becoming civil servants.
The writer is a freelance columnist and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org