I wanted to offer my opinion on this week’s question which stated: How can local and national governments better engage youth in decision-making?
I have been attending a leadership conference for the past two days at my University titled #UWILeads ‘Generation 2.0’ and we had discussions about youth and civic engagement nationally.
One of the means in which government can engage their youth in decision-making is creating a branch (or partnering with major student societies) of important government entities in Universities and High Schools. This would include key sectors of government. This would teach youth about the mechanisms of governmental operation without necessarily having to be affiliated with any particular party.
Another means of encouraging youth engagement is by having youth representative (in their teen or adolescent years) appointed on governmental boards. Many times, our government talks about reaching out to youth but never actually get the opinions from them in an official capacity. If you would have a youth representative for the governmental sector dedicated to youth, Generation 2.0 would more likely be interested in the policies and issues within the sector.
My final suggestion would be having a youth conference which would engage different clubs and societies from the secondary to tertiary levels to directly communicate the developments within every sector of the government. Having a youth friendly administration (similar to President Barack Obama’s strategy when running for his two terms of office) I believe would be a stimulus for youth being more interested with governmental matters.
Have a great weekend everyone and a belated Happy Youth Day! – Chrissie Parris Campbell, Jamaica