Home Business Use of educational institutions’ labs can help unlock GB’s freelancing potential

Use of educational institutions’ labs can help unlock GB’s freelancing potential

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ISLAMABAD, June 07 (INP) – By leveraging the existing computer labs in educational institutions, the Gilgit-Baltistan government can empower the region’s youth to become freelancing entrepreneurs, bridging the digital divide and unlocking a brighter economic future for the region.

Talking to WealthPK, Ghulam Rehman, President of Freelancers’ Association, Gilgit-Baltistan, said the region faces significant challenges in terms of economic opportunities and digital connectivity. However, with the rise of freelancing and remote work, there’s a growing opportunity for the youth to engage in the global digital economy.

He lamented that numerous obstacles prevent freelancers in distant areas from succeeding in the competitive freelancing industry. Their ability to communicate with clients, learn new skills, and provide high-quality services is severely limited by the digital divide.

“Utilizing government computer labs, especially after hours, would help close the digital divide in remote areas of Gilgit Baltistan by giving freelancers reliable internet access, modern equipment, and a concentrated workspace. The initiative would foster digital literacy, unleash the potential of local talent, and boost the local economy,” Rehman suggested.

He believes that one of the most important steps towards enabling the youth to reach their full potential is integrating freelancing with education. By incorporating freelancing training into academic programs, students can gain the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the digital economy.

“Through the utilization of school labs, the government can provide a safe and conducive environment for freelancers, especially female freelancers, to grow, learn, and prosper. These labs would provide a better setting for freelancers to develop their freelancing skills and explore their creativity,’’ he stressed.

Speaking to WealthPK, Aatizaz Hussain, Manager of Karandaaz Financial Literacy Intervention, Gilgit-Baltistan, said the Karakoram International University (KIU) and the University of Baltistan (UoB) stand as the primary higher education institutions in the region. Together, they annually graduate over 6,000 individuals.

He said that the job market offers limited opportunities, with only a fraction finding employment in NGOs or government sectors, leaving thousands jobless. There are 3,000 to 4,000 independent freelancers who work remotely from their homes, yet the local government lacks active programs to train and support the youth entering the gig economy.

“Thousands of educated young men and women in Gilgit-Baltistan are stuck at homes, grappling with immense mental stress due to unemployment. To address this issue, the GB government should allow them to use the computer labs in schools and colleges after hours, providing much-needed resources for freelancers in these marginalized areas,’’ he suggested.

He suggested that educational institutions should be transformed into freelancing platforms. Labs should be equipped with relevant software for design, coding, and writing, and the curriculum should be updated to teach skills that enable freelancers to generate income.

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