What better way is there to secure the future of society than to provide for developmental needs of its youth? This so they become capable heirs of the land of their forefathers and mothers hence youth development is such a critical issue for any government committed to building sustainable communities. A society that neglect its youth is a society that does not care for its own children.
Among the biggest challenges facing the youth today include access to education, unemployment and the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
Majority of youth are excluded from higher learning after completing their Grade 12 because they have no purchase power to buy education. If they are lucky to go to an institution of higher learning, many drop out before they complete their studies. Ironically, even most of the few who manage to complete their academic programmes find themselves confronted by the evil of unemployment.
The government must pump funds into sporting and recreational activities to infuse discipline and focus amongst the youth so that they stay away from activities that may ruin their future. All sporting codes should be developed in all communities and schools. Unequal distribution of resources in favour of town and urban communities to the detriment of country and rural communities must be closed. All communities must have equal access to quality recreational and sporting facilities. The one important issue is to ensure that there are public libraries in each community to enhance the general awareness and education of young people.
It is also crucial for the state to have deliberate programmes to inculcate positive social values amongst the youth. The youth should be taught to put their country first, to work hard for the development of their country and the betterment of their community and mankind as a whole, as opposed to the value system that promote unscrupulous accumulation of wealth, laziness, greed and individualism.
It is a must for government to take responsibility for these and other aspects that are key to sustainable youth development. Youth development must be at the very centre of national development plan. Only a single and integrated body in the form of an executive ministry will ensure that issues of youth development become a day-to-day critical focal point of government. Government s’ failure to prioritize the basic needs of young people will only heighten youth political apathy.
(Photo Credits: Nic Eppel, Source: www.mg.co.za)