Debate: The pros and cons of youth

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By Debatepedia

Positive and negative sign of being youth Youths are the representative of energy, happiness and freshness. Life is the synonym for youth. They are innovative; they are always ready to face challenges. “Youth is the time to join in war, youth is the time to fall in love”- said by Shamsur Rahman. From his quotation we can easily see the twice face of a coin. Young generation is always considered as a symbol of aptitude but even they have some imperfection.

Youth are the future director of Africa. They will be the citizen of our nations. Today’s young generation is tomorrows guardian. If they failed to fulfill their duty towards our societies, Africa next generations will be the one to suffer. To secure the future of our next generation youth should made concerned about their duty. They should be guided properly. Thus our continent will achieve a great respect in the world as a developing continent.

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The Debate:

Yes

  • Youth are the architect of the modern civilization. They never hesitate to demonstrate new things and ideas. But the elder people are not interested to try new things. They fear demonstrating with new creative ideas because of their adoptability.
  • With new & fresh ideas the young can bring vast change in technical field. But the elder people are not accustomed with the new improved technical instruments. Youth never vacillate to accept new ideas or challenge.
  • Superstitions is a word which is absent in the dictionary of youth. They don’t believe in those ancient dos and don’ts. That made their life easier, and confident. Youth are far away from the complications of superstitions.
  • Youth have only one gender that is they are youth. They are treated equally everywhere. They have to compete with themselves. They never take the advantage of being male or female. Thus their positive aspect is helpful for the development of the society and country.
  • Youths are always ready to face challenges. That’s the reason we find young generation during natural calamities and in other disasters. They come forward to help the affected people. They raise fund, collect relief for the victims. And they are the volunteer who take the relief to the door of affected people.
  • The young people are logical and intellectual. They can come forward with new ideas to improve our politics, economics and other fields. They have the courage to experiment with new ideas and invention. This is necessary for the betterment of our country.
  • Young generation is broad minded. They are innovative in the field of fashion. They are adopting different culture without spoiling their tradition and heritage. They are adapting and adopting the globalize culture.
  • Young generation is far away from racial discrimination. Cast, religion etc never can create obstacle on their way. They work together without any interest about the background of their colleagues. Their only interest is their work, their job.
  • Young are confident and hard working. They only know they have to achieve success.
  • They have abilities to create more opportunities.
  • They are open to talk and understand. They are like open book. They share their feelings, their thoughts.
  • Youths believe in implementation of the best practices.
  • They are willing to relocate and start fresh. They never look behind. They are optimistic.
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No

  • Young people are emotional. Sometimes they take wrong decisions depending on their emotion.
  • Employers demand is experienced people, but the young don’t have that. So they face difficulties to find job.
  • Youth have soft and innocent mind. Evildoers can easily influence them. They easily get involved with wrong company.
  • They lack patience and persistence.
  • They are too anxious and want to know much more than they should. Their curiosity knows no limit.
  • They are more extrovert and shameless outspoken while social networking. This is embarrassing for the other people present there.
  • They are more willing to earn fast money. Higher the degree more is the lust for money. More from the business background more the requirement for money.
  • They easily get addicted to drugs.
  • In the field of politics young people trust the wrong person with wrong ideology. Thus they become terrorist.
  • Want of money and power can easily misguide them.
  • Youths get confused easily. To fulfill their parents dream they often choose a subject to study on which they don’t have interest. They don’t choose the subject in which they have skill ness. Thus the meritorious student gets poor marks and after completing their study they do a simple job which is not suitable for them.
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Don’t Be a Lazy Youth!

By Azugbene Solomon

The uncomfortable reality when you decide to go after your dreams is that at times it can be a very difficult and painful process. Nothing is free in this world, and if you really want to do the extraordinary, you will be called to make sacrifices.

“The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.” — Nikola Tesla

Think clearly about this. The process starts with you having a feeling of fulfillment when you study, focus and work on what you deeply value. Maybe it’s protecting the environment, changing the lives of children through education, developing new technologies that take humanity forward. It can be anything. I mostly value exploring the power of ordinary people to do the extraordinary.

Probably you’ve read before that is important for you to have a vision but this is just partially true. The vision is actually the outcome of your inner values. The vision may be blurry, but if you move forward from what you deeply value, this will create a sense of purpose and the vision will unfold along the way. The process starts within you when you honestly become aware of what you value and embrace it. This is your inner world.

Then, ideas begin to form in your mind of how you can transform this sense of purpose into reality. These ideas depend on your knowledge, your competence and their implementation depends on many external factors. This is the outer world.

The key to your success is finding the way to bridge the inner world with the outer world. How do you transform your passion and what you most value into a tangible benefit for the world so that it becomes sustainable? You transform your enthusiasm into a product or a business through your competence, knowledge and skills.

Unfortunately, when you lack the competence and the patience to acquire practical knowledge about the outer world, you challenge yourself and your inner world. You don’t say, “I know I am worthy to live my dream, I so greatly value this road that I will keep learning and working until I discover the way to make it happen.” Rather you unconsciously tend to think: “I am not good enough,” “Who am I to deserve this,” “I don’t think it’s possible,” etc.

When you lack the competence and the knowledge, never doubt yourself and never challenge your self worth. Simply understand that you need to put more work, do more research and create the competence to transform your dream into reality.

Think clearly about this. It’s never the extraordinary people who do the extraordinary. It’s the ordinary people like you and me who decide to step out, get up off their knees and take the journey. Because they complete the journey, ordinary people like you become extraordinary. You are worthy. Don’t be lazy.

Conclusion
For some, life is a waiting game. People wait for better timing or for the right moment. One day – they think – they will have all the right cards on their hands and opportunity will knock on their door, just like that. They won’t even have to get their butts off the comfy couch.

Nothing in life happens just like that. Opportunities are made, not given. Successful people get what they want because they work for it, they earn it. So if you’re looking for advice on how to succeed in life, here it is: Stop. Being. Lazy.

Reference
1. Huffpost.com – You are worthy by Dragos Bratasamu
2. Startupvitamins.com – Life is short by Sophia Amoruso

What do young people need to learn today to be prepared for tomorrow?

By Larry Berger

We cannot anticipate the challenges today’s children will confront as grownups, nor can we conceive of the solutions they will devise. Technology, the planet, and society are changing faster than ever before. But this doesn’t mean we should discard the old disciplines of reading, math, science and history for a shiny new curriculum of nanorobotics, holography, and multi-tasking.

Futuristic things that spark kids’ imaginations are useful, but the essence of a great education changes slowly. We may use new tools and topics to achieve it, but we still want our kids to:

  • learn how to learn
  • know the past
  • wield the power of math and science
  • experience and make art
  • become good citizens

Let’s take a quick look at each of these.

Since we cannot know exactly what young people will need to know to thrive, the most important thing may be that their education helps them learn how to learn, including:

How to pay attention: learning requires the ability to focus. The technology that saturates kids’ worlds today offers constant distractions. Students must learn to overcome this, to set it aside and pay attention, for extended periods, to things that are difficult.

How to question: curiosity is what sustains learning, and skepticism about “established truths” is the beginning of new knowledge. Schools should cultivate both, to help students to develop critical thinking skills.

How to learn from failure: students do better in school, and in life, when they realize that mistakes are opportunities for discovery and improvement, and that persistence can pay off. Research shows that this “growth mindset” can be taught.

These skills prepare students to continue learning throughout their lives. Our economy and society are changing fast — the jobs of the future mostly don’t exist yet — and so the people who are most likely to thrive are the ones who are prepared to continually adopt and grow.

Specific knowledge and skills are also part of the foundation for a lifetime of learning. The academic subjects included in a traditional African high school education are a good start. Within each of those subjects, and across them, there are essential elements:

Reading and writing: every student who graduates from an American high school should be able to “read like a detective and write like an investigative reporter.” That means they should be able to write a short essay expressing their perspective on something difficult they’ve read, using evidence from the text as the backbone of their argument. Research shows that this is the single most important skills for succeeding in college and other further academic studies.

Mathematical reasoning: for an increasing number of college majors and professions, it’s essential to acquire skills in specific areas of math. But, regardless of academic and career path, all of us — every American — should be able to engage in mathematical reasoning, so we can make good decisions about everything from credit cards to claims made by our political leaders. Every high school graduate should be able to engage in algebraic thinking and mathematical modeling to understand quantitative relationships and to generalize patterns.

Scientific knowledge and thinking: learning to “think like a scientist” is important for everyone, even those who eventually choose careers in other fields. The scientific method — systematic observation, measurement, and hypothesis formulation, testing, and modification — has applications across many areas of modern life, including business. And, given the public policy decisions that will need to be made in the 21st century, it’s especially important that all citizens have a baseline understanding of ecosystems and earth science.

Knowledge of the world and the past: our country’s civil and political life will depend on all citizens having a shared knowledge of world history. Students should be enabled to develop their own informed perspectives, including through reading key primary texts, from the Declaration of Independence to first-person accounts of what it has been like to live at various times and places. They should also learn how to share those perspectives with classmates and others in a civil and constructive way.

The Arts: every African should graduate from high school having read literature from Africa and the world. They should experience and make art and music in many forms. Every student should be encouraged to choose at least one art form that especially moves them and really learn about it — what are its traditions, who are its greats, what makes it beautiful?

A great education is a long and rewarding journey which never ends. High school is a key stage in that journey when students can acquire the foundations for success in later life. Let’s ensure that every African student can make the most of this opportunity.

This article was first published at Medium

10 Ways to Engage Youths in Peace Building.

By Solomon

Today, more than 1.5 billion people live in countries affected by fragility and conflict — a majority of which is under the age of 30.

These numbers alone justify the inclusion and consideration of youths in policymaking and planning. But in practice, the meaningful participation of young people in peace building has been hindered by discourses that overwhelmingly depict youths as victims or villains.

The inclusion of young people in peacebuilding processes is bound to facilitate sustainable peace in a society, by redirecting the energies of young people to the implementation of constructive peace projects. Incorporation and utilisation of youths in peacebuilding processes would facilitate their transformation from agents of violent conflict, to agents of peace in their societies.

This are the 10 ways to engage youths in peace building.

1. Create spaces for youths to express their opinions — and listen to them.

Rather than simply acknowledging them as victims or perpetrators of violence, it’s vital to engage youths as social actors with their own views and contributions.

“Youth voices in peace building are present everywhere, but sometimes not recognized,” Matilda Flemming, leading coordinator at the United Network of Young Peacebuilders, told Devex. “The creation of spaces for youth to express their opinion to decision-makers and broader society ensures that they have the opportunity to be heard.”

In practice, this can be done by encouraging both youth and adults — parents, teachers, nonprofit workers, or community and religious leaders — to support the formation of youth groups that offer young people a chance to formulate their opinions.

2. Enhance the peace-building knowledge and skills of young people.

Although most young peace builders create positive impact with minimal resources, it’s important to provide them with the tools they need to become more effective change-makers.

In concrete terms, this means giving them access to the teachers, facilitators, educational programs and networks that can hone their conflict resolution and leadership skills.

“Training opportunities can range from content-based topics such as conflict or gender to more practical-focused areas such as advocacy or project management,” Dylan Jones, project and gender officer at UNOY Peacebuilders underlined. “By facilitating youth connecting on individual and organizational levels, ideas, challenges and best practices can be organically shared.”

3. Build trust between youths and governments.

Youth mobilization in peace-building efforts is more likely to be successful if young people are given the capabilities and opportunities to work with local and national governments.

With few constructive avenues to influence local and national politics, young people tend to view governments as beset by corruption. Conversely, governments often fail to take into account the views of youths in policymaking, and may have different priorities for peace.

To close the gap, activities that promote the legitimization of youths and foster their representation in local and national policymaking processes are crucial, according to Piet Vroeg, child and education director at Cordaid. As such, joint workshops, community projects or platforms can all help bridge the divide between youths and government officials. It’s also important to encourage young people to learn about national or regional peace priorities while helping them work toward their own peace priorities.

“Now, after a couple of years, the youth councils have gained the trust of local government authorities, to the point that when it’s time to decide on the local budgets, these youth councils are being consulted to see if the budget make sense,” Saji Prelis, director for children and youth programs at Search for Common Ground, highlighted.

4. Promote intergenerational exchange.

Rather than working with youths in isolation, peace-building projects seeking the engagement of youths should also include parents and elders.

Youths are deeply influenced by the attitudes of their entourage. Yet adults might perceive youth-led initiatives as a threat to their own power and position. This points to the need for youth peace-building projects to be accompanied by dialogue and cooperation between young people, their relatives and community elders.

“Seek more inclusive means for young people to express themselves and participate in awareness-raising among the wider population,” Vroeg suggested.

Through partnerships with community groups and elder councils, youths can demonstrate the benefits of their peace actions. Such communication and collaboration channels also enable young people and adults to explore the common problems they face and to tackle them together, thus participating in the emergence of sustainable solutions.

“Young people alone by no means have the answers to the challenges the world and communities around the world are facing. Neither do older generations. By bringing together the vision of young people today, and the experience of older generations, new answers to challenges are created,” Flemming underlined.

5. Strengthen monitoring and evaluation.

While efficiencies can always be found, monitoring and evaluation activities need to be undertaken, improved and made routine across all peace-building initiatives capitalizing on youth engagement.

Suffering from a chronic lack of financial support, youth peace-building activities often have very limited ability to evaluate the impact and effectiveness of their work — a situation that seriously impedes the visibility and sustainability of their initiatives.

But beyond increased financial support, innovative approaches to evaluate the impact of youth engagement in conflict resolution must be used — particularly those that build on qualitative evidence and participative approaches.

“Surveys, focus groups and interviews are considered as the gold standard of inquiry, but those are adult methods of articulating evidence and showcasing impact, which ultimately benefit only adults,” Pralis told Devex. “Instead, we should make evaluation conversational and youth-led, as this works for everybody.”

The evaluation process recently started by the Nepal Partnership for Children and Youth in Peacebuilding — a coalition of local youth groups and international organizations — is particularly illustrative. It allows young people to take an active role in determining evaluation design, data collection methods and information analyses.

6. Support youths who are positively contributing to their communities.

Finally, it’s crucial to avoid rewarding “bad behavior” by incentivizing young people who are positively contributing to their communities.

Current youth programming focuses much of its attention on young individuals who were troublemakers or soldiers. This effectively rewards youths for joining armed groups — or is at least perceived as doing so by local communities.

“In general, young people feel marginalized and their voices are not heard or trusted as credible. But when they commit violence, the international community rushes in,” Prelis noted. “We have to be more conscious, cautious and thoughtful in our approach to youth engagement and avoid sending the message that we only care about you when you cause harm.”

Simple rewarding systems such as certificates, prizes and scholarships can serve as great incentives for youth. They can also inspire their peers to take action and participate in peace programs.

Further, try to situate your organization’s programming for young people within larger peacebuilding efforts. Without comprehensive efforts to change the underlying factors that contributed to war in the first place, youths might feel that their efforts are in vain.

7. Support education and capacity-building for peace.

Access to education is fundamental for facilitating young people’s positive engagement in peace. Youth suggested specific and practical ways this could be realised, including reforms to civic education, and the introduction of peace education.

“The only thing that can ensure us a better future is education… Without education, the country will not have a future”. – Young Azeri woman living in Georgia.

8. Facilitate and support dignified livelihoods.

Greater economic opportunities for youth are necessary to motivate young people to pursue peaceful and productive paths in their lives. Youth are keen to increase their opportunities to learn skills and develop entrepreneurial capacities but these need to be made available to them.

“The main concern of both young and older generations is to ensure daily well-being, that is, to find a job, get an education. Only after these problems are resolved will it be possible to increase the youth’s interest in resolving the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict.” – Georgian youth.

9. Support youth visions of peace.

Even when they have not known life without conflict, young people have clear visions of what peace should be, and have a strong desire for a future without violence. Peace processes need to ensure meaningful inclusion of these views in their design and implementation.

“For me when there is no firing and shelling, it is peace. When children do not become victims of mine blasts in my village, it is peace. When I see my mother going to the fields to collect wood and graze animals, it is peace. When I see children playing in the common fields or grounds then I consider it peace.” – Young person in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

10. Plan a peaceful event.

If you want to raise awareness about problems facing your community and encourage peace in your community, then organizing a peaceful event is a good option. Try banding together with some local community members to put together an event, such as a community picnic, a food drive for a local food bank, a peaceful protest, or a walk through your community to raise awareness about a problem your community is facing.

If you don’t feel ready to plan an event, then you could also organize a small meeting. Try planning a meeting and inviting some other community members who are interested in making your community a more peaceful place. Use the meeting to share your concerns and discuss possible solutions.

Conclusion
Problems within a community can prevent people from living safe, happy, and productive lives. Promoting peace in a community is an extraordinary challenge, and it often requires the work and dedication of many community members. However, you can help to promote peace within your community by encouraging good relationships with your neighbors, learning more about your community’s history, and taking action to deal with violence.

Reference:
1. Devex.com ways to successfully engage youths in peace building by Manola De Vos.
2. C-r.org ways to support youth inclusion in peacebuilding.

Enhancing Youth Political Participation For Africa’s Development.

By Anticorruptionintl.org (kgoremu sandu)

Africa is a continent of the young. In 2015, of a total population of close to 1.2 billion people, an estimated 541 million (45.1%) were under the age of 18. A further 458 million (38.2%) were between the ages of 18 and 45. Young people between the ages of 15 and 35 constitute one-third of Africa’s population. However, youth’s influence on national politics remains limited. Young people need leadership opportunities to be able to gain experience and fulfill their potential. It is important, therefore, to integrate young people at the helm of both the political and non-profit sectors. Recognizing that young people, like all people, want to be appreciated for the role that they play in society, they need viable avenues through which they can use their abilities and talents to make positive contributions.

Many young people in Africa look for political opportunities or try to create opportunities for participation, only to find their ideas resisted or rejected. In the absence of such opportunities, they are more likely to find other avenues of expressing frustration and form alternative groups in order to feel a sense of belonging for example #This Flag, a social group in Zimbabwe which caused social unrest in Harare (the capital city). If young people are not given viable means of political participation, they can pose a threat of up rise in societies. The result of some governments in Africa of failing to constructively engage youths is that their potential is often lost or diverted.

Factors specifically influencing youth political participation included the following:

Distrust of politics and political parties: In many African countries for example Zimbabwe youth associate African politics with politicians who are corrupt, dishonesty and they do not fulfill their promises. Many youths avoid politics, and preferably become active within civil society.

Distrust of electoral processes and institutions: Countries such as Burkina Faso, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Gambia, Zimbabwe and Zambia have experienced disputed election results and in some cases, discrepant vote-tallying systems used by candidates and by electoral institutions. Perceptions of problems with the reporting of results in Africa has led to skepticism about electoral processes, and raised questions of transparency and the independence of institutions. Hence many youths hesitate to vote due to the electoral system error.

Under-representation within government and political parties: In many countries for example Zambia and Kenya, youths feel that they are targeted by politicians seeking votes during election campaigns. However, once elections are over, they are not adequately represented in political parties or in government. Even when young candidates are elected, they often feel they have no political power, and are excluded from the decision-making processes. Many Africans feel their peers would not be more likely to turn out at the polls if more young candidates are appointed to meaningful, influential and prominent positions.

Factors hindering young candidates running for elected office included:

Patronage and resources: Young candidates are affected by political patronage networks and a lack of financial resources as obstacles if they are interested in running for elected office. Well-resourced candidates and political parties in a number of African countries for example Zambia they buying support through giving away cash and gifts, such as maize.

Age limits in electoral law: A number of African countries for example Zimbabwe has age limits in their electoral laws, which prevented candidates under the age of 35 or 40 from contesting national elections.

Inter-generational differences: In some African countries for example Gambia, youths are discouraged from running for elected office because of perceptions that leadership should be reserved for older people.

Recommendations

Youth Empowerment through Civic Education

Education activities aimed at improving the participation of youths in political leadership should prioritize leadership training with an emphasis on management skills and accountability so that when elected, young politicians can continue to play an important role in inspiring others to participate in politics. Second, “youth for youth” role models should be encouraged. As more youth gain leadership positions in political parties, it is important that they help to educate other young people. Finally, political party procedures should be standardized and institutionalized in order to create predictable legal and constitutional frameworks that would enable hardworking, determined, and committed youth to navigate the political system.

Strengthening public policy making skills

The youth constituency in Africa is too large to remain on the margins of the democratic process. African political parties must engage in multifaceted programmes and start thinking more creatively about how to bring youth on board. Specifically, political parties need to start taking a more proactive approach to engaging with youth as voters, electoral candidates and electoral managers. This, in turn, requires political parties to engage more effectively with key partners on youth-related issues. Two actors of particular importance are political parties and civil society organizations.

Political parties remain a significant barrier to youth participation in decision-making structures through their control over the submission of the lists of electoral candidates. Political parties should therefore consider facilitating interparty dialogue to foster broader agreements on the need for the advancement of youth as electoral contestants. Furthermore, by working with youth-led or youth-focused civil society groups, political parties are more likely to achieve their goals when it comes to promoting youth as voters. Political parties also need to look at their own internal structures and policies to promote youth participation in the management of electoral processes

Kudzai Goremusandu is a strategic, innovative, dynamic, goal getter, enterprising leader and leadership consultant. He is the founder of Africa Leadership Insights Institute .Kudzai holds an award for effective media communication from the University of Zimbabwe. Kudzai is based in Harare, Zimbabwe. He can be contacted @ kgoremusandu@gmail.com

3 Ways Young People Can Come Together To Fight Climate Change

By Web.unep.org (Shakir Akorede)

According to the United Nations, “Climate change is one of the major challenges of our time and adds considerable stress to our societies and to the environment. From shifting weather patterns that threaten food production, to rising sea levels that increase the risk of catastrophic flooding, the impacts of climate change are global in scope and unprecedented in scale. Without drastic action today, adapting to these impacts in the future will be more difficult and costly.”

It is mind-boggling that the effects of climate change are already manifesting across all borders of the world and across the oceans. Despite the efforts and agreements, however, experts argue that world leaders are not adequately prepared for the risks from a changing climate and, at the same time, are not doing enough to tackle the global disaster.

True or false, climate change is now affecting every country on every continent of the world. Its palpable effects are disrupting national economies and affecting lives, costing people, communities and countries dearly today and even more tomorrow.

Given the environmental threat, there’s more work to be done especially for the young generation if the world is truly important to them. This article highlights 3 strategic ways youths across the world can help protect their home – the world.

1. Go green.

Environmental protection requires innovative approaches such that the young generation must be empowered with the right skills to address environmental challenges and beyond.

What is green?

Green means different things to different people from different perspectives. In the environmental context, it is making the world a more livable place for all that lives therein. According to MobilizeGreen, “Green” has become synonymous with the environment, sustainability, and “eco-friendliness.”

From the above, going green is “ensuring a greener environment.” But there’s more to that in terms of realisation. To explain, young people from diverse ethnicities and backgrounds need to pursue more knowledge and practices that can lead to secured environment and sustainable natural resources for present and future generations by increasing their environmental friendliness and taking ecologically responsible decisions.

Parts of the decisions, which entail green practices, include: walking, riding bikes, using public transportation, recycling outside the box, and many others.

2. Collaborate with others (to form organizations).

For quick global effects, young people must continue to take part in intergovernmental climate change processes across the globe. “The role of the private sector in combating climate change is becoming ever more relevant,” says Climate Home.

To this end, more collaborative efforts are crucial to tackling climate change by spreading its awareness among the populace and working closely with governments to ensure policy implementations.

3. Partner with government.

“The United Nations System recognizes the key role that youth play in tackling climate change and works closely with youth-led and youth-focussed organizations around the world through the United Nations Joint Framework Initiative on Children, Youth and Climate Change (Joint Framework Initiative),” says the U.N.

There’s no denying that robust public-private partnership is an efficient way to tackle environmental challenges. As such, youth organizations should partner local, national, and international governments for more frantic efforts to curtail environmental disasters.