[www.inewsguyana.com] – A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) has admonished the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration for what it says is the continued failure to implement a coherent national youth policy.
APNU is of the view that the spate of suicides among adolescents, the rising number of teenage pregnancies, the reports of police brutality, the large number of school dropouts and the predicament of juveniles in the New Opportunity Corps (NOC), are all signs of a deteriorating situation.
APNU recalled that it had reported repeatedly that the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Dr. Frank Anthony had publicly announced on several occasions, over the past eight years, that the National Youth Policy would be reviewed.
“The PPP/C Administration still does not have a functional National Youth Policy. The result has been that youths continue to face several challenges” the Party said.
Among the challenges pointed out by the APNU is that nearly 7,000 children drop out of primary and secondary schools every year. The report of the CARICOM Commission on Youth Development – Eye on the Future: Invest in Youth Now for the Community Tomorrow– noted, among other things, that the primary education dropout rate was “at a staggering height” the Party recalled.
Additionally, the Main Opposition Party said joblessness among young people in the Caribbean Community, at an average of 23 per cent, is higher than many other developed and developing countries. “The majority of young university graduates in Guyana, unable to find employment, are forced to migrate.The National Employment Report published by the International Labour Organisation, estimated that, based on Guyana’s Household Income and Expenditure Survey which was last undertaken over a decade ago, about 44 per cent of the population of working age are “not economically active.”
APNU pointed out too that five Government Ministries – Ministry of Amerindian Affairs; Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport; Ministry of Education; Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Labour – offer a variety of short-term training courses for young people but posited that while there are many programmes, there has been little progress in solving the problems facing young people.