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.