#National News

‘Out-of-school youth can contribute to national development’

Dec 29, 2020, 1:06 PM | Article By: Cherno Omar Bobb

Senior Programs Officer at the National Council for Civic Education (NCCE), Ansumana Ceesay has disclosed that out-of-school youth have the skills, knowledge and time to contribute meaningfully to national development ‘if they are supported’.

Ceesay made these remarks on Saturday at Wassu in Central River Region during training for out-of-school youth on leadership, civic rights and duties to prepare them for transition to adulthood.

Organised by NCCE, the 6-day training is being funded by UNICEF.

Similar trainings were held in Mansakonko and Kwinella in Lower River; Wassu and Janjanbureh in Central River; Nyakoi/Taibatu and Basse in Upper River Regions on the theme “catching them young: cementing patriotism and responsible citizenship among young people”. 

The forum, which attracted over 250 youth, is designed to provide youth with information on leadership, civic rights and duties as a means of enhancing their participation in matters of governance; enhance a culture of constitutionalism where citizens uphold and defend the highest law of the land.

Mr. Ceesay underscored the role of out-of-school youth as essential, and therefore called on people to change their perspective towards them as dropouts and not important in society.

He noted that what is important is what ‘one can do for his/her community, society and country at large’.

“Everyone can be a civic leader by using your skills, knowledge and time to volunteer in the development of your community. Public goods management are a problem in the country with most people thinking that what belongs to everybody belongs to nobody.” he added.

Mr. Ceesay also urged participants to organise step down trainings for their respective communities.

Fatoumatta Leigh, a youth representative from Leba Malick Mbye said the training exposed her to areas she didn’t know prior to the training. “Now that I know my rights and duties as a citizen I will be able to sensitise my community particularly youth.”

She said a lot of youth suffer in communities because they do not know their rights and duties as citizens, and therefore appealed to NCCE to expand their outreach to other communities.

Sheikh Tijan Njie, a youth representative from Kaur, challenged youth to unite and work towards the development of the nation.