THE Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, has embarked upon another round of dedicated consultations with various categories of stakeholders to integrate a policy document and provide specific feedback on how the content and proposals may be improved.
The objective is to optimise the government’s goal to
* empower, through appropriate responses, youth (meaning adolescents from 10 years up to 29 years) and to mitigate the negative impacts of development on these Guyanese youth and
* ensure, in a sustainable manner, the well-being of all young women and men in Guyana.
Specific recommendations would have already been made to improve/validate the key strategy areas, priority targets and implementing mechanisms proposed in response to the existing and emerging youth development situations and challenges in youth development in Guyana.
A national strategic recommendation would have also been made to ensure effective implementation and monitoring of the National Youth Policy that leverages the comparative advantage of all implementing partners and young people.
Among those present at the symposium on Wednesday was Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr. Frank Anthony, who highlighted the need for the National Youth Policy (NYP).
He made mention of the monies being invested in the education system, yet the social problem of school dropouts is prevalent.
Anthony pointed out that youths in these times are starting families at a young age while not capable of handling such commitment.
He also saw employment as another problem youths are faced with, today and expressed the hope that, through this new implementation, these issues will not only be identified but measures will be taken to combat them.
Launched in August 2013, by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, it was an ambitious programme to deliver a modern and comprehensive NYP for Guyana.
The NYP is intended to give effect to the goal of the government to empower its young people in keeping with applicable and recommended regional and international policies and good practices on youth development.
The project comprises the provision of an independent consultant on a short-term basis, funded by the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Youth Programme, to conduct research and prepare the policy draft, as well as support from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to assure the effective engagement of youth and other key stakeholders in consultative processes across regions of Guyana to inform the policy development.
Two national teams, a National Stakeholders Committee (NSC) and a Youth Steering Committee (YSC), were appointed by the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, to oversee and advise on the formulation and implementation of the policy, with the preparation of a NYP draft that recommends 11 key strategic policy areas for attention.
Also addressing the gathering on Wednesday was the Guyana/Suriname representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Ms. Marianne Flach, who noted that her agency has supported the Government of Guyana in the process of the finalisation of the NYP and made sure that youths were provided with the opportunity to participate in the nation-wide consultations in urban, rural and hinterland regions.
“We expect that the successful implementation of the National Youth Policy will contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals by enabling government and all stakeholders to effectively plan for sustainable futures for young people and empowering them to play a constructive role in the social/economic development of their country,” she said.
Chairman of the National Stakeholders Committee, Mr. Rawle Small; Programme Manager of the Commonwealth Youth Programme, Ms. Dwynette Eversley; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, Mr. Alfred King and Guyana Youth Policy Consultant, Mr. Derek Alleyne, also made valuable contributions to the forum.
The NYP is a document being developed to guide priority interventions by the state and other key stakeholders to participate in youth development and be involved in productive life.