#Article (Archive)

Youths and nation-building

Sep 27, 2013, 9:55 AM

The need for people to change their attitudes is very important, if the country is to attain her development aspirations.

We have always, on these pages, stated that the attainment of the MDGs, Vision 2020, PRSPs and Silicon Valley, cannot and will not be achieved unless we as Gambians change our attitudes, and work with clean hands for the development of our motherland.

The development of this country requires the collective responsibility of all and sundry, irrespective of whether one is a member of the ruling party or the opposition.

Going straight to the point, our focus today is on the youths of this country.

There is no doubt that the way and manner in which some young people comport themselves in this present generation leaves much to be desired.

While some of them are hardworking, and very much committed to their cause of succeeding in life, many others are either lazy or involved in crime and other nefarious activities.

Most young people in the habit of doing dubious things often fail to realise that crimes can harm communities, create a culture of fear and damage the lives of some of our most vulnerable young people, as well as properties.

There are some of the major risk factors that increase the chances of young people committing crimes such as a troubled home, poor attainment at school, truancy and school exclusion, drugs or alcohol misuse, and mental illness, peer group pressure, just to name a few.

Our young people need to know that the future of this country lies in their hands. However, if they fail to be responsible by laying a good foundation our future would be bleak.

It’s sad that a day hardly passes by without newspapers carrying one or more reported cases of crimes involving young people.

This is a very unfortunate situation and we, therefore, challenge the Ministry of Youth and Sports, National Youth Council and other youth-friendly organisations to come up with more community outreach programmes to create the much-needed awareness among our youths.

We also urge the parents, teachers and guardians to continue to play their parental role in the nurturing and upbringing of the young ones.

Young people are also challenged to take their learning seriously, while those out of school should comport themselves well and rededicate themselves to become responsible future leaders.

They should also venture into productive endeavours such as carpentry, plumbing, metal work, tailoring, and construction, among others, so as to contribute their quota to nation-building.

“The Youth of a Nation are the trustees of posterity.”

Benjamin Disraeli