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  • Nigel Akuani

EDUCATION: Key to Creating Opportunities

Port Moresby: The sooner education is recognized as the fundamental building block for social prosperity, only then will opportunities be created to appreciate the worth of our youth.

For the Chat Room of Wednesday 11th August 2021, it had five confident and enthusiastic Grade-12 students from Jubilee Catholic Secondary School discuss the topic, ‘Creating Opportunities for Young People’.

Their talk highlighted how 65 percent of Papua New Guinea’s population comprised of young people below the age of 25, the tremendous potential youths had in developing the nation, the negative effect of little to no opportunities been created, mention of reflective quotes that served as guidelines, importance of academic qualifications and the need for exposure and experience, with a strong call to the government to improve the education system’s efficiency to cater for all.

Romona Krewanty, told of the sad reality affecting youths around the country and how they were marginalized to the extent where they were denied any opportunity to partake in developing the country. “If current population trends continue, this group will no doubt continue to grow rapidly. This youth bulge is potentially dangerous for the society since if they are not harnessed, the young people can destroy not just their own future, but the future of the country. The youth are the country’s future and therefore should be nurtured and offered opportunities to have better lives,” she said.

Emphasizing how young people lacked opportunities, Bill Barara, said that this often resulted in them engaging in opportunistic crimes and violence. “Without investment in the health, education and the employability of this large population cohort, the potential of this group to contribute to the nation’s future will not be realized,” he said.

He added, “With inadequate access to formal education, lack of suitable facilities and activities and limited job training opportunities and a high unemployment rate, adolescents and youths are often not fully engaged or able to participate in the development of their community.”

Dante Elijah, said opportunities usually presented themselves after days and weeks of dedicated and relentless hard work and urged young people to always hurdle through the struggles before opting for an easy way out. “Opportunities can be created through education, by joining the workforce or by simply being creative and innovative. However, they all have one thing in common and that is the application of hard work. There is simply no substitute for hard work. Opportunities tend to present themselves when there is hard work put in,” he stressed.

Retracing how our forefathers saw that education was the way to create more opportunities and success, Joshua Kabewa, maintained that education was still the best pathway for creating overwhelming prospects for young people. “Getting educated or taught something isn’t as hard as it used to be. Thanks to the advances in technology and development of the Internet, opportunities are now before us and it is for us to realize this and seize them for ourselves. Make use of what we have at the moment,” he said.

He appreciated the programs provided by organizations such as Transparency International PNG, The Voice Inc, and the Youth Against Corruption Association, and said these helped mold and shape young individuals’ perception of thinking. “Often times these programs lead participating youths to some form of self-discovery that affects them in a positive way allowing them to strive for success no matter how much the odds are stacked against them. There is now a fire burning within them inspiring them to do and be great in all that they set their minds to,” he stated.

Regania Possman, expressed her dissatisfaction with the current bottleneck education system that denied many capable and educated Grade-12 School leavers from continuing into tertiary studies. “Many have fallen to the harsh reality of our country's education system, to either make it out on top or be discarded. These unfortunate individuals then end up spending their days at home or out and about searching for alternatives that could still give them a chance at attaining their dreams,” she said.

“We implore our youths to first of all acquire a Can-Do attitude. Be visionaries, believe in yourselves and what you can offer. Use your initiative to create your own pathways and push forward and face life head on. The road to success is not a smooth one but if you are willing to put in the effort to see your goals through then you're already halfway there,” she further said.

For the Chat Room on Wednesday 18th August, the show will have students from La Salle Technical College discuss the topic 'Parents’ Expectation of Children’.

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