NEC Decision 106/2020 endorsed the National Youth Policy (NYP) 2020-2030. DHERST participated in the prior consultation process to develop the policy. The NECE decision directs the Social, Law & Order Sector (SLOS) Agencies to support National Youth Development Authority (NYDA) in the implementation of the NYP 2020-2030. As well, the decision also directed the Constitution and Law Reform Commission (CLFC) to review the NYDA Act 2014 and amend the Youth Age Bracket from 12-38 years old to be reduced to age bracket of 12-30 years old and other legal impediments.
Southern Regional Stakeholder Workshop.
The NYDA held the first four regional stakeholder interpretation Workshops for the Southern Region, 26-30 October at the Driftwood Resort in Alotau, Milne Bay Province. This first regional workshop set the theme for other regional workshops to follow. The National Youth Policy recognizing the Youth age bracket as between 12-30 years, DHERST clearly has a huge role to play in collaboration with other key stakeholders across all levels of government, the economic and social sectors, embracing the churches communities and the civil society.
Collaboration and Partnership
The purpose of the workshop was to foster mutual collaboration and pragmatic partnership efforts for the implementation as a way forward in creating a greater impact. In his opening address to the Alotau workshop, the Minister for Youth, Religion, and Community Development, Hon.Wake Goi, MP, said;
“Government alone cannot provide the solutions to the many youth issues facing our country. We need strategic partnerships with key stakeholders to deliver tangible results on the policy objectives”
Strengthening Stakeholder partnerships and networks.
A successful outcome of the Alotau workshop was the identification and strengthening of stakeholder partnerships and networks. The potential partnership and networking coalitions across the four pillars were very encouraging. Over the five-day workshop, stakeholders representing Development Partners, Civil Society, Church Agencies, Youth Councils, Government Agencies and the Private Sector pledged their commitment and their resources to support the implementation of the National Youth Policy.
NYP Inter-Agency Committee Established.
At the Alotau workshop DHERST was confirmed as a member of the Inter-Agency Committee on of key NYP stakeholders. Under the NYP Education and Employment pillar, DHERST is focused on improving the Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) for the college-age population group. GER measure is fundamental for improving the socio-economic development and employment indicators for the Youth; as well as unifying the higher and technical education system.
Role of DHERST In National Youth Policy (PNG NYP)
DHERST Has a Vital Role to play in developing positive outcomes for this age cohort. Each year in our country many prospective eligible students are denied access to post-secondary education due to the lack of financial resources, classrooms, learning and teaching resources, accommodation facilities and qualified staff. Over the last two years 31,000 eligible Year 12 students have been denied access to tertiary education that would fit them with skills, competencies and qualifications for employment and for life. In all likelihood, unless we do something, they will not enter the labor market. Sadly, unless we make good development choices, increasing numbers of students will experience the same outcome each and every year unless we are able to provide greater access. PNG has a very low growth in the number of students attending and graduating from higher education institutions. Such numbers are amongst the lowest in the world and cannot adequately drive or support our rapidly changing economy.
Multi-Stakeholder Engagement and Investment
Regional workshops planned for the other Regions will accelerate national momentum for the stakeholder networking and engagement, co-investment and co-funding with donors and sources of national and global capital development. Donors and investors are keen to support national led programs that are well managed and capable of delivering desired outcomes that meet sustainable Youth Policy Objectives. Multi-stakeholder engagement and investment in the higher education sector is important for social and economic growth, poverty reduction, creating pathways to employment for your young men and women and for making PNG a SMART, WISE, FAIR, HEALTHY, AND HAPPY SOCIETY as per our espoused national Vision 2050 plan.
For more information on the PNG National Youth Policy (PNG NYP) check the website for National Youth Development Authority (NYDA)
Declaimer: This article is an exact extract from DHERST Quarterly Newsletter, December 2020, Volume 3|Issue 4 pp 6 released to the public media on Friday December 18th 2020