Yemen is facing many obstacles in achieving development in most aspects of life. Governments have tried independently to take the role in upgrading Yemen but most of the past governments have failed to have tangible improvements. Is it the time for the Youth take the role in upgrading Yemen? And how possible is that?
Among the factors that hinder growth and prosperity is the out –of-date procedures, workflows, policies and systems in the government institution. An example from the higher education sector, namely Public Universities, students are being taught quite an obsolete syllabus that doesn’t effectively and efficiently correspond to the rapidly changing requirements of the market locally and internationally. The students are not presented with clear objectives and outcomes of the courses being conducted. In addition, the amount of knowledge being transferred is very little due to the use of old teaching and time consuming techniques.
“The need for change in the syllabus and the teaching system is one of the Ministry of Higher Education’s goals and soon we are going to make such changes take effect.” This statement was given by the Minister of Higher Education in a conference held at the faculty of Engineering of Sana’a University in 2008. However; nothing has been changed neither in the system nor in the syllabus. The issue behind the difficulty in achieving such a goal and other governmental goals is that they have many accumulating problems to the extent that they cannot oversee such initiatives as a critical priority.
The issue of syllabus of higher education and teaching system is only an example of the many and uncountable problems challenging the government and society in general and youth particularly. The government institutions cannot cater for the increasing demand for change of the existing outdated systems. Many institutions could not kick off or achieve initiatives that would have their organizations participate in the overall growth. The parallel situation in the society is calling for youths to participate with variety of initiatives which collectively will facilitate in achieving development and prosperity and will assist government to have a focus on bigger and broader issues.
Here comes the time for youth to lead rolling the ball in moving a step forward. It is the optimum time for the youth to put on the cornerstone for the development pace. After the revolution, awareness of collective responsibility towards community issues has shifted to upper levels that wouldn’t have been achieved by 10 or 20 years of awareness campaigns. The awareness has been proved by the involvement of most of the working community and professionals in the demonstration movement. It involved professors, student, teachers, doctors, engineers, tribal elders, labors and other classes of community inside and outside the country. In addition, the revolution allowed this diversity to meet in one place and demand one goal; developing and prospering Yemen. This level of awareness along with passion for contribution will play a great role to facilitate youth initiatives to take place and action.
What we need now is a platform for such bulk capabilities and competences to expedite the process of sharing ideas and projects of the prospect civilized country. We have seen many youths who have felt this need and started such initiatives even before the revolution broke up, to name a few, Resonate Yemen, Hemmat Shaba and Holol organizations. But Yemen needs as many initiatives as we can kick off due to the volume of accumulating problems as well as the great gap between Yemen and developing and developed countries that requires a collective engagement.
Most of such initiatives started with an idea generated by a passionate citizen who is wholeheartedly willing and striving to solve a problem faced by the society. The idea is then shared among the youths to be enhanced- some initiatives are shared virtually through the internet- and finally convert it to a project led by a number of youth (the most available resource in Yemen) supported by some training, guidance and advice.
To sum up, the youth need to generate new and innovative ideas to participate in solving the issues our society is stuck with. Youth needs to kick off initiatives with a touch of creativity and imagination that will participate in increasing income, in upgrading morals, values and attitudes in public institutions, and in bringing better education outcomes either in schools or universities. We need to take initiatives in all aspects of life that will influence the development of our nation. We need initiatives in health care, education, public transport, litigation, environment, and …etc. Most of such initiatives have already taken place but the outcomes were invisible as they are insignificant compared to the number of initiatives Yemen is in desperate need for.
What we have to do as youth is to get engaged with the existing initiatives and youth foundations. We should offer support with knowledge, skills, experience and effort. We should utilize our relationships worldwide. Use social media like facebook to spread initiatives and get valuable inputs locally and internationally. We have to exploit all available human, physical and intellectual resources.
What I would recommend the new government to do is to clearly communicate their goals, plans and strategies to the youth and encourage their involvement. This will give the youth a clear picture in what path they should make their initiatives for the short and long term runs. At the end we will be able to see great milestones being accomplished leading to a profound impact in the development pace.