Youth minister: Schools are not equipping youth with skills needed to navigate the technological revolution

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Minister of Youth and Sports, Hadrammeh Sidibeh has said Schools are not equipping youth with skills needed to navigate the technological revolution.

Mr. Sidibeh made the remark in a statement marking International Youth Day, under the theme “Transforming education.”

He said students don’t have to just to learn, saying that education today should combine knowledge, life skills and critical thinking.

 He stated that it should include information on sustainability and climate change and advance gender equality, human rights and a culture of peace”.

Minister Sidibeh said International Youth Day will be used to reflect on the theme and contribution of youth and stakeholders towards the attainment of SDG 4 (Quality Education), SDG 8 (Decent work and economic growth), and SDG 10 (Reducing Inequality), as well as other related Sustainable Development Goals.

He revealed that the celebration of International Youth Day 2019 will take stock of the progress, challenges and opportunities in transforming education system.

He said satellite Intuitions with stakeholders will conduct series of activities including stakeholder Inter-Generational dialogue on transforming education in the Gambia, social mobilizations and media outreach on the theme.

He used the opportunity to recognise and acknowledge the contributions of youth, youth-led and youth-focused organizations, as well as other stakeholders efforts toward transforming education system to accommodate youth and future of work.

Mr Sidibeh said it is an open secret that, youth across the continent of which Gambia is not an exception, continues to face several challenges such as unemployment, irregular migrations and return, inadequate access to opportunities, relevant technical skills, access to finance, insufficient youth safer spaces, among other challenges.

He pointed out that the provision of quality and relevant education and lifelong learning opportunities for youth especially in digital skills, vocational education, business finances as well as cultural appreciation.

He said the government of the Gambia under the dynamic leadership of His Excellency President Adama Barrow, through his ministry will continue to prioritize youth empowerment and development, as emphasized in strategic priority seven of National Development Plan, on harnessing the demographic dividend.

He added that young people constitute more than 65% of the populations and their meaningful engagement and development is critical to sustainable National Development.

‘‘My ministry is working with the Satellite institutions and strategic partners to operationalise the National Youth Development Fund to provide access to finance to youth led initiatives and start up, refurbishment of youth centres such as Farafenni Youth Centre, Janjanbureh Youth Centre, Bansang Youth Centre and Basse Youth Centre as well as expand the Gambia Songhai Agricultural initiative to other parts of the country’’, he said.

He said other advocacy, skills training and sports development programmes under his ministry, coupled with the ongoing review of the National Youth Policy, are expected to give youth the much needed platforms and opportunities for innovation, employment creation, leadership and capacity to contribute towards national development.