I was giving some thought to what should be included in a youth policy, one which no doubt will be thrust upon us in March 2013. I believe it is being done with great haste, as the suggestions will not match aspirations, which I believe should be from a critical mass of about 25,000 youth themselves between ages 15-29 from all parts of the Country, and comprising as many female as male.
In this way one will get a feeling for what it is they expects from one. I know one who said that due to the state of Education, young people without critical skills of analysis will not be able to come out with a logical wish list of what is practical for a Govt. to provide, rather will just provide a Santa Claus list of what they want the Govt. to provide or must provide as a minimum.
It is the fault of successive governments, capped by this one which appears to promise even more than any before it, to fulfill the needs of youth. For example just think of education today with NO private sector colleges, just the public sector. Where would the majority of the kids go to get training in an employable skill?
The marketplace has taken over. All a Govt. does is to provide guidelines and improvements in teaching quality, so that output improves. Will this type of request come from youth, who do not know they are receiving rotten teaching? They don’t know what good teaching is to compare! Am I asking the wrong audience for input in developing a Youth Policy for Sri Lanka?
This is a teaser blog entry, and I will no doubt explore this topic further in the weeks and months to come so that we can critically think what it is that the State can practically do for youth so that their aspirations can be met, while at the same time these aspirations are congruent with the overall policy of the state as far as their development and quality of life goals are met.
For ease of clarity, we may have to breakdown the 15-29 age into a number of subsets and come out with specific policy guidelines that cater to those who wish to leave the formal education sector at various critical ages, due to different reasons. We can only generalize. There are always exceptions to the rule. The opportunities available to urban and rural youth are different. Due to the proximity of small cities to all rural areas, the urban rural divide in Sri Lanka is probably confined only to the migration to Colombo for employment as opposed to other cities in Sri Lanka where opportunities are clearly less.