The move by the National Youth Council to come up with the holiday jobs scheme that seeks to improve the competence of young people during the summer holidays is indeed a laudable initiative.
Aware of the fact that youths are the most productive age group in the population of The Gambia, and the cornerstone of national development, the National Youth Council made a wise decision.
This is so, because there cannot be a better way of doing it other than getting young people to serve in holiday jobs for a certain period of time.
Perhaps, during the summer when they are less busy with their school work.
The summer holidays period is special on more counts than one.
First, it is the longest school holiday.
Secondly, it coincides with the farming season. As a result, many students support their parents on the farm, during the holiday.
Thirdly, many students, whose parents can afford it, travel abroad to unwind. But for the many who could neither work on the farm nor travel abroad, they should make the best use of the holiday jobs project.
While the rationale of the scheme is to keep youths busy during the holidays, and give them the chance to learn about the world of work and some lessons about life outside the classroom, it is our belief that this scheme will also prepare them for the challenges ahead.
In addition, the holiday jobs scheme should be divided into various segments that will lead to the full development of the students in every way. These would take the form of summer camps where they learn civics, summer computer classes, and even the summer sports training sessions like the one organised for basketball players at the Independence Stadium this summer.
Such varied activities would definitely refresh the students even more, and put them in a better frame of mind to tackle their studies and other activities with greater vigour, when they return to school.
In making this modest proposals, we hope that the National Youth Council will make the project a continuous process.
"To live for a time close to great minds is the best kind of education."