Latest: Presidential hopeful promises youth engagement programmesFebruary 23rd, 2011
People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) Presidential hopeful Dr. Faith Harding has announced a plan to have youths purposefully engaged in Guyana’s development. The strategy to achieve this was outlined yesterday during a media briefing.
In outlining the plan, Dr. Harding noted that Guyana currently has a youth population of 276,093 between the ages of 10 and 29. This, she noted, represents 36.7 percent of the total resident population of Guyana. The Presidential contender went on to state that 53% of this demographic group has lived their entire life under the current government.
“Unfortunately most of them live in communities bereft of basic services, facilities and commodities, and destructive and hostile environments which are compounded by extreme poverty.”
Having expressed this opinion, Dr. Harding said a holistic approach in nation-building is required, that will promote within youths hope for a good future. She also stressed that the ability to be gainfully employed is equally important. This approach Dr. Harding said will ensure youth involvement in national construction, the building of communities, in the development of the agricultural, industrial and social sector infrastructure, as well as their becoming competent at preventing conflicts and acquiring good self concepts and national pride.
One aspect of the plan, Dr. Harding said, will see the setting up of ‘Youth Opportunity Industrious Cooperatives’. She explained that these cooperatives will be designed as an institute with initiation clubs in every village and industrial complexes in selected areas. The main purpose of this plan, it was noted, is to mobilize the country’s human resources to supplement the education system, and to ensure that all Guyanese become aware of the value of our society. “As an instrument for effecting the transformation from dependency to self-reliance, training and development of skills in appropriate instances will be provided; emphasis will be placed on the practical approach in training and provide the opportunity for on-the-job learning.”
In addition, the Initiation Clubs will be dispersed throughout Guyana, which Dr. Hadring opined will bridge the divide between the city and the rural regions. She said the initiative will be a three-year programme for youths who have attained the age of 13 and beyond.
Where there are schools, the initiation clubs will be linked to those institutions as afternoon programmes, and where there aren’t any schools, there will be all-day programmes. This programme will also see industrial complexes which will help in the development of industries indigenous to the area, and where possible, introduce new commodity-driven facilities.
“For example, large farms will be developed with produce to feed the nation and export indigenous and other products,” Dr. Harding concluded.