A multi-pronged approach to youth problems

The youth-for-youth movement will see Golden Youth Award participants mentor at-risk youth in their schools. Such a move should have a positive impact on issues such as youth violence and crime.

In fact, the movement could be expanded by the schools to even include students who may not have been selected for the Golden Youth Award camp.

This is one such way schools can become more involved in finding solutions to youth problems. Having youth feedback is necessary.

When it comes to the upbringing of our children, it must be a shared responsibility between parents and the schools.

We can blame bad parenting at home for poor grades, drug abuse, and absenteeism. But we must also acknowledge the fact that our children spend almost half the day in school and for that reason, schools also share the responsibility of parenting. If schools simply exist to transmit knowledge, then we may as well replace schools with technology.

Both parents and schools must also be imparting values in their students. When parenting at home fails, would it be unfair to expect that we can rely on the schools? Is imparting values a part of education is a question we must answer.

We must also question the education system if students are displaying good behaviour only during school hours. If they are going bad after school hours, then is the good behaviour in school a facade? Is there any value to an education that loses control over its pupils without direct control?

Some schools have introduced parenting programmes. This is a step that brings educators, parents and students together so they know more about each other.

This is an acknowledgement that parents and schools share a responsibility and that they have to work together.

And with boarding facilities being liberalised, and central schools being established, the need to strengthen the parenting aspect in schools becomes clear. The values learnt in school and in the hostels, should sustain when the students are outside the school environment. They should remain when they leave school.

This is easier said than done but something has to be done.

Teachers are currently being trained in transformative pedagogy which will make teaching a more horizontal affair, and more engaging for students.

It would be worth exploring providing trainings for both parents and educators on how to be effective parents.

We need a multi-pronged approach to addressing our youth issues. Involving parents and educators is just one aspect.

1 reply
  1. irfan
    irfan says:

    Probably it should be considered an enlightenment of its own kind if one can become his respective friend, guide, teacher, parent and the philosopher. But the reality is that we always look for others to be our guide and philosopher. On most of the occasions, we have our parents, family and our teachers at schools as our parental guides to begin with.

    And before we become parents guiding our own children and family; there is stage in everyone’s life when one is left alone to be his own friend and the only guide. This is one very crucial stage in life and so many of us simply jumps this stage accepting life as it comes to us. So before we can act with a philosophy that’s our own, we tend to react to situations and conditions. And in today’s busy competitive life, progress even comes at the cost of wrong decisions or simply lack of decisions. No society wants to see its youth always making wrong decisions.

    The ‘Youth for Youth’ movement is a great initiative. And I just hope that when these Golden Youth Award participants start to mentor the so called at risk students of their respective schools; the other students don’t feel victims of some kind of jealousy. There is no room for jealousy in a Buddhist society, but we humans do get jealous about so many things. We even commit crimes out of just jealousy. We don’t hesitate to harm others for our failure in being our own true guide and philosopher. So I would like to request these Golden Youth Award participants to show some responsibility to their assigned tasks.

    Mentoring is no easy job. So let’s hope that they don’t make the mistake where they think that they are the perfect doctors ordered and rest of those at risk youths are the patients only. They need to mentor them in a way where they can become their own effective mentors in quick time and then together as an united force they can mentor another set of youths needing their help.

    As participants of the Golden Youth Award, these young people have achieved recognition. And they need to be aware of the fact the youths even force themselves to risky situations in search of recognition only. So let’s hope that such a good initiative like this will see its fruitful phase and we can have youths who are much better friends, guides, teachers, parents and philosophers to their own needs in becoming great human beings. No body can make anyone human if one refuses to learn what it means to be human.

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