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Governance and the Jamaican Youth by Ackeem Smith

Governance and the Jamaican Youth by Ackeem Smith

Youth still represent a significant portion of the society, yet many of them do not participate in the country’s development.

A publication in the gleaner in 2011 lucidly shows that ‘up to 2009 over 50, 000 young people between ages 14 and 24 were unemployed and youth, especially males, continue to be the main victims and perpetrators of crime in Jamaica.’

Even until now, there’s still a high level of unemployment for the Jamaican youth.

With the above-mentioned statement, it’s quite clear why youth in Jamaica tend not to take part in governance or ‘the voting process.’  The Jamaican Youth still experience unfair treatment, like unemployment in the society, which, has to lead to their abstention in governance on a whole.

Industrious, dexterous and well-rounded university and college students still have struggles financing their education in Jamaica. Not implying that there are no opportunities present to fund education because indeed there are government scholarships and grants; however, the high level of demand is greater than the number of opportunities being created.

Therefore, when this becomes the order of the day, and a youth is unable to obtain a scholarship or a grant to finance his studies, then ultimately, he will be excluded from his studies. The cause of wanting to become prosperous and influential in life and, the opportunity revoked, can affect psychological and emotional problems within the youth population. Which will instigate some form of illicit activity or ‘bad practice’ to earn money for survival; resulting from high levels of unemployment. If this is the case for the promising youth of Jamaica, then they will be demoralised and reluctant to participate in governance.

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On the other hand, a youth may be able to finance his education with the aid of scholarships and grants, parent’s salary or student’s loan, and after studies would want to be employed. Due to the low level of employment, he would have to send several resumes to a number of businesses, hoping, fasting and praying to be employed. Most times, all the efforts are wasted. If there’s a chance of employment, the salary for the university graduate with degrees upon degrees is just the same as a person without degrees. This can be very uncomfortable even knowing that there is a student loan payment to be made at the bank or a close friend to repay. After doing these transactions, what is left cannot sustain the youth.

These are some reasons for the youth’s non-participation in governance, and until there is some positive adjustments within the education and business sector, there seems to never be the Jamaican youth’s interest to take part in governance.

About the Author: 

Ackeem Smith is a 19-years-old student at the William Knibb High School, he is currently in the upper sixth form. He aspires to be a lawyer, a politician and the prospective Prime Minister of Jamaica.

Read his full biography


Editor at Large, Mckoy’s News: the views expressed in this post are that of the writer and not that of Mckoy’s News.

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