Ministry of Education, Guyana

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Thursday, 06 October 2016 09:43

Director of Youth Vision and Plans for the Youths of Guyana

Executive Summary

The youth of today who are referred to as “young people”, represent the largest demographic in most developed and developing countries. They exist in a world that is globalized, driven by technology and are more informed than previous generations. They are faced with many challenges such as: unemployment, crime and violence, climate change, terrorism, substance abuse, single-parent households, domestic violence, poverty, diseases etc.

In the Caribbean, unemployment, crime and violence are some of the main issues affecting the younger generation. The Caricom Youth Development Action Plan (CYDAP) 2012-2017 provides an insightful analysis of the state of youth in the region.
Here, in Guyana, our youths are not divorced from any of the aforementioned challenges. Having regards to those challenges, policy decisions that seek to address the trials faced by our youths, must be transformative, bold and innovative.
It is my view that the Office of the Director of Youth should be active and effective in the implementation and execution of government policy as it relates to youths of Guyana. This office must play a crucial role in ensuring that the government’s commitment to the youth of Guyana is fulfilled and manifest in the work of the Office of the Director of Youth.
This document seeks to outline the ideological approach that I will take to fulfill the mandate given to me.

My Vision and Plans for the Youths of Guyana

The youth of Guyana should be of top priority, because like many rhetoric postulate “they are the country’s future.” Thus, it is my desire and mandate to, “ensure that youths across Guyana are efficiently and effectively empowered through training and awareness initiatives which in turn will develop their skills, making them marketable and essentially putting them in a better position to make meaningful contributions in their communities and wider society.
Youth unemployment is my number one concern. Youth unemployment in Guyana stands at 40%, according to the Caribbean Development Bank. The young, both qualified and unqualified simply cannot find jobs. This remains the source of most of the problems that plague the youth of today in this country.
I will spear no effort in ensuring that youths are firstly made aware of the employment opportunities that exist. Further, government must focus on youth job creation by ensuring that youths with business initiatives are supported by the enabling environment provided by government and the private sector. Part of my focus will be to take youths to the level of entrepreneurship where they can also provide jobs for other youths through their endeavors.
My vision includes a Guyana where youths can find decent paying jobs and through their efforts, they can also provide jobs for other youths, reducing the dependence on government and government only.

Plans

  • To foster full engagement of youths in the region.
  • Provide young people with exemplary leadership.
  • Encourage further youth development in vocational skills.
  • Organize structured and effective youth groups.
  • Tackling the unemployment phenomenon affecting youths in the region
  • Promote healthy youth development that is supported through programs and activities in schools and communities.
  • Establish working partnerships with NGOs, Caribbean and world agencies and other government agencies in youth development.
  • Lobbying government to provide grants to youths for entrepreneurship


Youth Director’s Approach to various Categories of Youth in Guyana

Having regards to the Draft Youth Policy, youth is a process and youth work should have a focus from early childhood to adult youth life. With all intents and purposes of policy making at the level of the Department of Culture, Youth and sport, these categories of youth are placed in this context. The following categories of youth should be given different priorities and focus. Hereunder contains the Youth Director’s approach to the various categories, having reviewed numerous documents that deal with the situation of youth in Guyana.

The N.E.E.T (Not in Education, Employment or Training)

These unattached youths are often not considered in national statistics and data. There is a large pool of these youths in our society who are not taken into account when we seek to allocate resources and make policies. I am of the view that there needs to be documentation of how many youths are unattached and are not in education, employment or training. We must first gather enough statistics on this phenomenon. The Bureau of National Statistics, NCERD and the Ministry of Education, Department of Culture, Youth and Sport should commission a task force to produce statistical data on these youths.

Youths with less than five subjects CSEC

We should seek to ensure that these youths are given the opportunity to further qualify themselves to a level of a minimum of five subjects. This issue should be addressed through training programmes, based in the communities such as ‘Night Schools’.

Tertiary Educated and Qualified Youths

Employment opportunities should be provided to this category of youths. Government must provide an enabling environment for these youths to be employed or become entrepreneurs. This may be achieved through collaborative partnership with the private sector and other interest groups. This will also include a plan to ensure that these youths do not migrate in large numbers to other countries to seek employment.

Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship

Having much regards for the Draft National Youth Policy, Policy Priority 2: Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship, I believe the focus of the Office of the Director of Youth should make youth unemployment a key focus. This should be done in several ways;

  1. Building partnerships with existing agencies:
    To link youths to existing programmes such as WOW, IPED Small Business Loans, the Small Business Bureau, Ministry of Business and more. Where these programmes are not adequate, it is my intention to lobby government to provide grants for youths who cannot meet the requirements of those programmes identifies.
  2. Encouraging entrepreneurship among youths:
    There should be constant contact with youths in communities across the country to encourage and foster a spirit of entrepreneurship, where youths can provide jobs for themselves and others. This can also be achieved by providing youths with the necessary mechanism to achieve this task.

 

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