Youth Consulted on Sustainable Development

Titled ‘Young Bhutan Network: The Spirit of Youth’, the guideline is expected to streamline the operation of networks and to strengthen the support system to help existing and emerging youth networks through a holistic mechanism.

Youth Consulted on Sustainable Development. (Source: http://www.kuenselonline.com)

 

A guideline for youth-led groups was launched at the first national consultation with youth on sustainable development in Thimphu on Dec 14 to strengthen and enhance the coordination and networking of youth groups across the country.

Titled ‘Young Bhutan Network: The Spirit of Youth’, the guideline is expected to streamline the operation of networks and to strengthen the support system to help existing and emerging youth networks through a holistic mechanism.

It provides guidelines on communication, information and knowledge management, facilitation, collaborative activities and communication channels.

Criteria which youth groups should fulfill

The guideline states that for registration, youth groups should fulfill the following criteria such as having a strategic vision and goals, a minimum of eight members, structured organogram, and be apolitical, secular and not go against the laws and policies of the country.

The monitoring and the evaluation of the youth groups would be done by the Department of Youth and Sports (DYS) under education ministry.

The two-day national consultation is organised by DYS and UNICEF to provide an open and inclusive platform for young people to understand, have constructive dialogue sessions and to influence development.

The consultation is being participated by 80 youth from the youth centres in eight districts – Wangdue, Thimphu, Sarpang, Mongar, Paro, Chukha, Samdrupjongkhar, and Zhemgang.

The youth were also familiarised with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the National Key Result Areas (NKRAs) of the 12th Plan.

Questions regarding improving education quality, unemployment and gender were raised during the consultation.

A student of Yangchenphu Higher Secondary School (YHSS), Sonam Rabgay, said that the 12th Plan included improving the quality of education and vocational skills. “When we say vocational skills, does that also include activities such as singing, which isn’t available right now?”

Responding to the question, the planning officer with the education ministry, Phurba, said that the 12th Plan would focus on improving the quality of education for productive youth.

No vocational subject or a curriculum exists in Bhutan

He added that currently no vocational subject or a curriculum exists in the country. “We want to pilot vocational education in schools from grade nine to 12. We also want to initiate vocational clubs in schools.”

Although the plan has not been finalised, discussion for a separate vocational and sports schools are in process.

Similarly, questions on the kind of activities to be implemented in the schools to promote gender equality were asked.

Phurba said that not many gender-related issues exist in schools. “We have equal participation in the schools. We want to ensure that equal numbers of male and female are there in college, vocational field and technical sector.”

He added that activities would be framed in the due course of time.

Concerns regarding the usage of the national language and dress were also raised by the participants.

A high school graduate, Dorji Wangdi said that the mismatch of education and opportunities are seen in the country. “Are we giving students the right education? Are we giving the right training for the opportunities available? Policy makers must think about it.”

Achieving the 17 SDGs by 2030

UNICEF Bhutan Representative, Rudolf Schwenk, said that children, adolescents, and youth can become active citizens and make a huge difference to their own lives, to their communities and to their countries.

“The theme for this year’s youth consultation focuses on how to harness the power of adolescent and youth to achieve the 17 SDGs by 2030.”

The Director General of DYS, Gholing Tshering, said that the participants would develop an action plan to be implemented in their respective dzongkhags.

“With such a programme in place, we are indeed optimistic that our youth will play important roles in the implementation of the development activities thereby participating actively as well as shouldering responsibilities.”

 

By Karma Cheki and Phurpa Lhamo (This article has been edited for the New Bhutan Times)

This article first appeared on Kuensel.

 

 


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