Challenges Facing Youths Today and Solutions: When it comes to who a youth is, there is no universally agreed definition and age rate of who a youth is. However, it still has got its acceptable explanation. Youth could be defined as the time or stage in life when a person is young which is usually between the time of childhood and adulthood (which could be said to be maturity).
It’s that stage in life when one is filled with vigor, freshness, good appearance, agility etc. defining a youth (was challenging as many people had different opinions as to who a youth is), they could not be classified within a specific age range. The age of being a youth ranges from one country to another, however it would fall at the age when the individual is full of life. Just as it can’t be linked within a specific age, its end thereof cannot be linked to a specific activity or what the individual has failed to do. Being a youth is an experience which would shape the person’s level of understanding to life and his or her level of dependency on others.
The United Nations defines youth as a person who is between the ages of 15 to age 24. This definition came into being as a result of the preparation of the International Youth Year in 1985. This definition was endorsed by the United Nations Assembly in its resolution 36/28 of 1981. All statistics of the United Nations is based on this definition.
Challenges Facing The Youths Today
The youth are faced with so many challenges and difficulties that it almost makes it hard for them to function well in the society, some of these challenges are:
1. Violence in schools: Violence is defined by the world health organization as the “intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, which either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting to injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation”.
Therefore, school violence may be explained as physical attacks which occur between students or by students to teachers or teachers to students. These form of violence could happen anywhere ranging from the school environment, school sponsored events and outside the school premises. Grave consequences emanate from these violence perpetrated by the students such as vandalism, lack of moral decency, loss of school property, increase in the school crime rate.
Students do not wake up on a beautiful morning to choose school violence. Most times, it is being influenced by some factors which could include intake of hard substance, personality problems (disorders), physiological deficiencies, and violent media.
2. Drug abuse: The rate of drug availability and intake at this present age is so alarming and it is seen in every corner of the streets. The use of drugs is constantly promoted in movies and in music productions making it look appealing to the youths.
During film productions, the characters would be portrayed with cigarette sticks and drugs in their hands making it appear normal on the screen which in turn contributed to the use of drugs by a lot of youths. Musicians make use of drugs and sometimes use it to avoid stage fright and to suppress stress. In our society today, youth are seen in the streets abusing drugs while it has lead to the mental disability of many.
3. Political and social issues: Irrespective of the fact that the youths make up the most population in a country, they are the most marginalized when it comes to politics and decision making.
They always put up a struggle in other to gain the recognition and respect of public officials and are always seen in the light of lacking the required skill and experience required for the political task ahead. This and other factors like lack of educational and economic opportunities would leave the youths frustrated and idle and unable to participate in any major political activities.
4. Youth unemployment: As the name implies, it means the state where youths cannot find work to do in their communities or nation or there are no job placements available for the youths.
Having a significant if not more number of youths in the society could negatively impact the economic growth of the nation, and if not checked, could cause serious economic repercussions because youths who are unemployed often tend to feel left out, leading to social exclusion, lack of hope for the future and anxiety.
With the birth increase and poor economic planning, the rate of unemployment of the youths would increase in the future if care is not taken. Taking Africa for an example, there are nearly 200 million people in Africa who are within the ages of 15 – 24, and this number would increase by 2045, it goes to show that the youth unemployment rate will cause a serious problem in the society if appropriate measures are not taken to eradicate or reduce it.
Solutions To The Problems of the Youth
1. Disciplinary actions against school violence: The schools should set up a disciplinary measure which would see that defaulters of the rules of the school and students/ teachers who promote violence be punished.
The security measures of the school should be up to date in other to enable them carry out their activities effectively and they should always be present in schools and school sponsored events to ensure that the students are rid of their weapons and that they do not perpetrate any form of violence at the school functions. Students who are found to posses the trait of being unable to manage their anger should be counseled on anger management and character development.
2. Public enlightenment and education: The solution to drug abuse is really in the hands of the people. To reduce the increase of drug abuse in the society, the youth should be sensitized on the effects of drug abuse to their body and the society.
Parents on the other hand are being advised to always listen to their children and to pay attention to the changes they notice in them and address it immediately. Whenever a child talks about peer pressure, the parent(s) should not hesitate to take the necessary actions in other to restrict such.
3. More opportunities to participate the Political and social scene: The youths of today need real opportunities to function in the area of politics and contribute massively and practically to practical solutions.
Whenever a youth(s) is given an opportunity to participate in politics, they usually give it their best with so much willingness, positivity and the intention to effect a lasting change with the opportunities they were given. Therefore the youths should be given more political opportunities as the work with the zeal and strength which the old politicians lack.
4. Creation of jobs and employment opportunities through a Market System: In providing solutions for unemployment in the society, a market system approach should be taken which would stand to address the root cause of the unemployment problem being encountered in the society, instead of the symptoms which it provides.
For this program to have a lasting effect, an ecosystem around the youths work should be built. When effecting the change, youths should be an active part of it, reason being that the youths have been long neglected and misunderstood therefore making them a part of the program that would be to their own benefits would help build the effectiveness of such program.
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These challenges are not one which always exists without a solution. Therefore, anyone who it is in his power to affect the solutions should see that it is done in other to create positive change in the society.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka ACMC, is a Law Student and a Certified Mediator/Conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a Developer with knowledge in HTML, CSS, JS, PHP and React Native. Samuel is bent on changing the legal profession by building Web and Mobile Apps that will make legal research a lot easier.