| Lyna Mohamad |
MORE than 200 youth attended a briefing on the National Youth Policy at the National Archives Building in Jalan Menteri Besar yesterday.
Organised by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS), in collaboration with the Centre for Strategic and Policy Studies (CSPS), the briefing was intended to disseminate information on the current National Youth Policy, and the survey for a review of the policy since November last year, involving more than 3,000 youth aged 15-40.
This age range covers those who are already employed, jobseekers, students from higher learning institutions and secondary schools, members of youth associations employed in the public and private sectors, youths involved with local associations, and youth with disabilities.
Muhammad Ihsan Sabri @ Zayn bin Haji Abdul Manap from the Administrative Office at the MCYS, noted that the number has been toned down to 3,000 for the smooth running of the survey.
Zayn, who was also one of the speakers at yesterday’s briefing, noted that most people were sceptical of inviting youth to fill out a questionnaire for the survey.
“They think that the youth will be dictated to answer the questions, but actually our purpose is to engage youth in a dialogue, in order to get their input and feedback on the current youth situation,” he added.
He said the survey, which consists of 85 comprehensive questions, would not be possible to do online, as the youth would not be able to complete the questions all by themselves.
“Apart from that, people were sceptical about whether youth would be well represented in these initiatives. We are targetting around 3,000 youth, which is a good representation and in proportion to the actual youth population in Brunei.
“This covers youth from all districts, and from all educational and social backgrounds.”
Dr Diana Cheong, a Chief Researcher at the CSPS, said, “We will conduct about 14 surveys across the country, and this one is obviously to gather data from young people of Brunei.
“In order to formulate what is relevant for our youth, they should be consulted. We must not only involve the views of young people, but also those who work with them, such as youth leaders, youth educators, non-government organisations, and government and non-governmental people.
“The CSPS is also doing a big study this year on unemployment in Brunei, and to provide policy recommendations to solve the problem.”
The survey is aimed at getting feedback in important areas for youth, as well as their views on determing their own future.
The information will be used to review the National Youth Policy based on the evidence, and as a strategy framework preparation for a more comprehensive and relevant youth development scheme in the next 10 years.
MCYS has also collaborated with the JobCentre Brunei in an attempt to gain access to more than 2,000 unemployed youth and 1,832 i-Ready apprentices.
The outreach will be held at government ministries and private sectors, to further increase the involvement of more youth in the survey.
MCYS has urged youth to contribute their voices to the project, for the sake of mapping their own future, while taking on a more active role towards self-development.