Shaebia’s policy is to “Engaging The Young” in Eritrea

Eritrean Education System - Computer Course

The capacity for progress of societies is based, among other elements, on their capacity to incorporate the contribution and responsibility of youth in the building and designing of the present and the future. Youth engagement is advocated due to the fact that youth have so much that made them capable of making significant contributions to their society. Youth engagement is also predicated on the notion that youth voice is a necessary component of civic engagement. In addition to their intellectual contribution and their ability to mobilize support, the youth also bring unique perspectives that need to be taken in to account. Likewise involving youth in decisions, problem solving, and program planning is found to be important in fostering positive youth development. Many researches indicate that opportunities for meaningful participation in communities in problem solving, goal setting, and planning are major protective factors that help youth withstand and challenge the negative impacts of neglect, poverty, and other problems, especially in matters of great concern to their nation and society. It is therefore, crucial that we groom our youth in order to make them able to assume responsibility for the future, through service and leadership learning programs and activities.

Engaging the Young - Computer course

Service learning and leadership training has become a major pathway for supporting youth engagement and voice in different communities. By this we mean the training of the youth in the field of leadership in order to make them able to cope up with future responsibility they will inevitably have to deal with. The conviction behind this is grounded in principles of community building that it is a must that we should build a fit and able youth that will supersede previous generation with great ability and confidence. This basically is an approach to youth empowerment in an appropriate level but in matters that has direct or indirect influence in their affairs so that they will be accustomed to handling responsibility. It is assumed that when youth are involved in and accustomed with decision-making that requires leadership activities, it then becomes possible for the society as a whole to improve its capacity to achieve collective vision and goals, and readiness to respond to opportunities and challenges both in the short and long terms.
In this huge task organization is an important forums for developing skills necessary for effective participation in society especially for the youth. They should engage in program that aim at accustoming the youth in leadership practices to solidify their role and contributions to the society. This will enable young people to act locally, that is, to offer opportunities for the youth to be involved in the activities of our community or in matters that are of concern to them so as to improve their local consciousness and identification.
Needless to say, as the youth learn leadership skills; their ability to lift their voices for the common good is enhanced. Hence training them from the grassroots level becomes a matter of high concern in this endeavor. Crafting programs that can have such effect should be directed toward long-term community building, rather than focused on short-term, discrete projects. Towards this end training the youth in relevant skills, such as leading and facilitating discussions, public speaking, problem solving, conflict resolution, and community event planning should be given serious consideration.
It is a universal truth that successful community building involves developing local leaders who are able to gain self-understanding, as well as facilitation and community-building skills. Therefore initiating such practice would yield promising results for it would enable the youth to engage their voices and hence lead youth and adults in community building. Moreover coupling such programs with proper guidance would enable the youth to increase their own civic understanding of the communities’ historical, cultural, social, political, economic, and geographic resources. Armed with such knowledge therefore the youth would ultimately become able to contribut more. It should be noted however, that providing incentives to sustain involvement is important in fostering civic engagement on the part of our youth.
Youth disaffection has been noted as one of the most serious threats future and indeed even present societies face in many parts of the world. The trend of the phenomenon we recognize as globalization also adds to the complication of this problem even more. Moreover this problem hasn’t been addressed from the beginning which has made the task more difficult as it is expected that this scenario will continue to haunt societies for times to come. However, the problem has been identified as grave by many societies and effort are being made no matter how nascent stages they are at the moment. The issue nonetheless is not something that could be saved for later to deal as the cost is immeasurable, especially so if countries like Eritrea who are just starting in the road to development.
The ultimate human resource that we always seem to advocate is the youth who are able to learn to assess their strengths, identify areas for improvement, and to give and take constructive criticism in the nation’s affair. This is important because the community-building work necessitated that youth lead the community, which meant including diverse voices of youth, and helping them come to consensus in decisions. Effective youth participation requires changes in how societies perceive young people. These changes need to be reflected in giving appropriate attention, in innovative ways to spread information, in training to facilitate intergenerational collaboration and in organizational structures that welcome new voices. Hence, efforts should be undertaken to foster intergenerational relationships and support the capacity of young people to ultimately and eventually participate meaningfully in programmers and activities that affect them, the society and the nation.


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