Since 2000, the United Nations (UN) has declared International Youth Day on August 12 to draw attention to cultural and legal issues facing young people. This year’s theme — ‘Solidarity between generations: Creating a world for all ages’ — broadens the thematic scope of this day to point out that without synergy between all generations, the world cannot hope to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). to achieve.
This means bridging digital, social, economic and communication gaps across all demographic groups and promoting intergenerational solidarity to realize the full potential of different generations and build an inclusive and just world. Cooperation is the key to sustainable development and to ensure, as the UN says, that “no one is left behind”.
Read also| ‘If we can build a satellite in the first attempt, we can make it a success in the second,’ say schoolgirls from rural India who built AzadiSAT
In addition, there are many who do not have equal access to the kind of quality education that can help them enter the labor market and free themselves from generational poverty. There is also a pushback by conventional systems and other forces as youth around the world speak out against poverty, climate change, gun violence, social injustices, the rising cost of education and the depletion of jobs.
A 2021 UN global report even highlighted how, conversely, ageism creates barriers to slow the growth and development of young people. These barriers not only affect their lives, but also prevent the development of fair policies that are beneficial not only to them, but to all age groups.
In India, according to a 2021 news report, the country will have the largest population of adolescents and young people in the world by 2030. The question remains, however, whether we are doing enough to maximize this demographic dividend and whether India’s youth have equal access to affordable education that can make them employable anywhere in the world, upskilling support and digital and technological knowledge.
Let us also not forget the street children in India, whose real numbers remain undetermined. Various estimates tell us that there may be 400,000 to 800,000 vulnerable street children in the country, living underprivileged lives without adequate food, safety or education. If we don’t include these children in our vision of the future, what will become of them? More importantly, who will they become without education, good personality development, safe socialization with peers and adults, and academic and skills-based learning?
About 400,000 to 800,000 vulnerable street children in the country live underprivileged lives without adequate food, safety or education.
The pandemic also revealed a huge divide between urban and rural children. According to a report by the Azim Premji Foundation, nearly 60 percent of school children in India do not have access to online learning. Another survey by the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) found that only 20 percent of Indian children of school age in India had access to distance education. It is important to bridge these gaps and build a better education and digital infrastructure to ensure that no child or adolescent is left behind.
We can start by ensuring that children across economic and social divides are able to receive early childhood education in government-supported schools and private institutions. Poorly equipped schools without well-trained teachers can lead to higher early school leaving, lower literacy and poor academic performance, so an extensive digital infrastructure can compensate for the absence of well-equipped schools.
United Nations SDG 4 also emphasizes the need to address all forms of exclusion and inequalities that affect access to education and learning. This means that we must not forget how gender discrimination prevents marginalized young girls from going to school, higher education or vocational training. The reasons that prevent them from going to school can range from lack of toilets, unsafe routes, household chores, early marriage, etc. In such a scenario, scholarships, incentives, subsidized education and outreach programs to persuade parents to take them to send school, help.
We also need to give more respect and attention to LGBTQ youth who are often targeted by schools or not given the opportunities they deserve because of their gender identity and orientation.
We also need to give more respect and attention to LGBTQ youth who are often targeted by schools or not given the opportunities they deserve because of their gender identity and orientation. The point is that no young person should be denied education because of poverty, gender, ethnicity or religion or because they have a language disability or disability.
We live in a post-pandemic world where war, climate change, displacement and violence are daily realities. The least we can do with positive action and crisis-prone policies is to create safe spaces for underrepresented children and young people to learn and grow and then rebuild the world in ways our generation couldn’t.
— Written by Rajesh Bhatia, founder of Tree House Education
Read the Latest news and Important news here