Many Bhutanese are heading abroad. Scholarships used to be the reason. Not anymore.

For a growing number of young, talented and restive Bhutanese, going abroad means opportunity of a lifetime to make some decent money.

But why go abroad to make money? The answer is: there isn’t space enough here for them to do so. Some will come back, many will not for a long time.

Could this have any implication to the future of our economy, our country? It is a question most ludicrous and absurd of our age to ask ourselves. We are losing our hopes and dreams, and we are squandering our brains by the day.

It is hard to tell whether the growing number of Bhutanese seeking to go abroad prompted the existence of countless consultants. It could be otherwise.

But many a consultant has taken promising young individuals for a ride. Last year, for hundreds of thousands of Ngultrums they paid an agent as consultancy fee, some 36 Bhutanese jobseekers landed in Singapore only to find out there was nothing for them there, not even the job that they were promised.

Rich Bhutanese don’t go abroad. They don’t have to. Poor can’t afford, so they don’t even dream to go. It is the middle class, hard working Bhutanese who fall prey to consultants and their overseas employment promises.

These are some of the new realities we are increasingly getting acquainted to.

Ours is a developing country that offers limited career opportunities. Civil service is still the biggest employer. But there is no dynamism in the system. People with wrong qualifications are handpicked for top jobs. And, often, vacancies are tailored for someone predetermined for the post. This systemic redundancy is what our young, ambitious and hard working people are trying to evade.

There is nothing wrong with people trying to rise. But there is a problem when people with talent and capability see no hope of moving further than their rotten chairs, drab office and dungeon-like cubicle for decades. Private sector is just too small to challenge government sectors as better employer.

That’s why many of our young talents choose to go abroad, leaving their job with the hope of something good and relevant for them. That’s how, alas, many of them get cheated by the-so-called consultants along the way.

Consultancy is good. But who watches over them? We are good with ideas, but not so when it comes to implementation.  A job half-done is not done at all.

At this stage of our country’s development, terminal brain drain is the least we can allow. We are already facing shortage of qualified human resource.

Are we creating this our country a wasteland of mediocrity? Systematic failures must be addressed. The sooner we do, the better.