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International Youth Day 2019: Transforming Education

August 12th is UN Youth International Day. It was established 20 years ago by the UN General Assembly as a result of the World Conference on Youth.

 

The day is meant to remind young people of the role they play in building and developing the world, as well as raising awareness of the challenges young people face on a daily basis. This year’s slogan is to transform education by providing inclusion and accessibility for every young person.

 

The UN calls on governments, youth, youth organizations, and other stakeholders to take action as a powerful tool for the development of education by 2030. Education is at the heart of the fight against inequality and poverty. In fact, this year’s Youth Day is dedicated to the 4th of the Sustainable Development Goals: to provide inclusive and relevant quality education for all and to promote lifelong learning opportunities.

 

“Education must now combine knowledge, life skills and judgmental thinking. It should include information on sustainability and climate change, as well as promoting gender equality, human rights and a culture of peace. All of these components are included in the UN Youth Strategy 2030 Agenda, which aims to activate youth participation and support them in exercising their rights, ”reads the message of the UN Secretary-General.

 

According to the 2014 State Youth Policy Concept of the Republic of Armenia, people aged 16-30 are considered to be young. In Armenia, young people make up 27% of the population, and the state must provide them with the opportunity to become free, multifaceted, healthy and responsible citizens.

 

Speaking to WomenNet .am, UNFPA Youth Program Coordinator Anna Barfyan, referring to our question on what steps are being taken to address youth issues, noted that there is currently no strategic plan for youth state policy.

 

“There have been some good trends over the last year, we see the development and implementation of programs targeted at young people by different agencies. For example, the latest government program, Work for Armenia, is a truly youth-centered program that addresses important issues that concern young people: employment, education, transition from education to labor market. One of the benefits of this program is that it seeks institutional solutions rather than merely measures or short-term plans, ”she said.

 

According to the data provided by the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of the Republic of Armenia, during 2015-2019, 428 students were suspended due to financial inability.

 

According to the Monitoring and Evaluation of Armenia’s State Youth Policy Strategy 2013-2017, the most frequently cited problem in education is the corruption of the education system and the low quality of education, the link between vocational education and the labor market. Concerning the quality of education, in particular it is mentioned the lack of qualified specialists, up-to-date literature, inclusion of applied skills.

 

The Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport mentions the introduction of a vocational guidance and career guidance system to guide youth to primary and secondary vocational education institutions.

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