Hafsa Obeng, GNA
Accra, Sept. 21, GNA
– The National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) in collaboration with the
Ministry of Education and other stakeholders, on Tuesday launched the youth of
Ghana programme in Accra to encourage the youth to take active part in national
dubbed: “The youth of Ghana: the future we want to build for ourselves,” is an
all-inclusive initiative to get the children and youth of Ghana on board-
the-process towards the development of a Long-Term National Development Plan.
Deputy Minister of
Education, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa said the platform had been created to
afford children and the youth an adequate role to effectively participate in
the development processes and ensure that their aspirations and desires are
heard, documented and used to inform the development processes of our Long-Term
National Development Plan (LTNDP).
He said the
initiative is to make the voices of children and youth heard on the policy
He said while
investment in the plan begins now, the benefits would last for generations and
as such it is imperative that all the different generations present have an
input to ensure that the resulting plan gives not only a fair representation
but also accepted and implemented by all, including the youth, who are to
succeed the current generation of leaders.
Mr Okudzeto Ablakwa
said the youth constitute a high proportion of the population, and represent an
exciting opportunity for investment in development and are specially endowed
with energy and enthusiasm, ideas and creativity, endless curiosity and the
drive to discover.
“The youth are
important stakeholders in the planning processes and can play different roles
as leaders, partners and beneficiaries of the nation’s development agenda.
participation in producing the LTNDP is not just for the sake of inclusivity;
it is about harnessing the enormous abilities and enthusiasm of the youth for
the benefit of their communities and the entire society.”
He said: “The future
of our communities and our nation depends on the way we raise and support young
people to handle the affairs of tomorrow. And tomorrow is not the time to learn
– learning is for today. As the youth get involved in the planning process,
they learn to lead.”
He noted that all
children and youth within the educational systems are being invited to be part
of this processes by making known their aspirations and vision for this nation.
The children and
youth are to express what they expect to have in the country over the next 40
years through writing and drawings.
“At the basic
education level for primary and junior high schools, we want you to express
yourselves as much as possible and let us know what you expect to see in our
schools, hospitals, communities, churches, mosques, our homes etc. Again, tell
us what you can also do as well to promote the good and wonderful things you
want us to build for our country Ghana.”
He said with the
Second Cycle Schools, the 2016-2017 National Senior High School Debate
competition is expected to focus on the theme: “The future we want to build for
ourselves,” and be guided by the set of topics that have been developed.
“In a simple way, we
want you the future leaders to tell us through writing and or drawing/art work
what you want our education system or schools should be.”
The Deputy Minister
said other programmes lined up for the initiative include a national essay and
drawing competition, the Dream Ghana Week, series of national debates, a
national youth forum among others.
Dr Fred McBagonluri,
Dean of Engineering, Ashesi University said some challenges confronting the
youth today include erosion of national pride, poverty, shifting economy and
education disparity, which need to be addressed with urgency.
He said the youth
deserve good quality education that would make them locally successful and
globally competitive. One that fosters critical thinking, strong leadership
disposition and problem solving skills.
He said there is the
need to establish a sustainable and effective educational ecosystem that vests
the youth with opportunities to thrive adding that educational institutions
also need to be refocused to embrace, adapt and integrate rapid changes in the
world around in terms of knowledge development and innovation.
“We need to develop
initiative minds that do not accept the status quo as norm, or as comfort but
as a platform to innovate the future. Where diversity of ideas is norm and
rapid advances in innovation psychology and leadership empowers rather than
immobilizes national aspirations”.
Dr Mc Bagonluri said
the youth deserve institutions of higher learning that are aligned with best
global practices and an environment that encourages them to aspire to be the
ultimate best. They aspire or ecosystems, where they can thrive uninhibited and
free from any form of marginal advancement.
“Our youth need new
inputs and measurable output in the form of great careers, innovative
entrepreneurship, new product development and market growth, as well as
education systems where research translates to practical existence.”
He noted that having
a strong vision allows one to galvanise people towards achieving a course,
making change and influencing lives and called on all stakeholders to ensure to
make available limitless possibilities where nobody is left behind.