Jul 2, 2008

Young People's Protests Easy to Mock but Ignore Them at Your Peril

Each day is a blessing when I have the opportunity to engage with my young. I thank the Lord for their beautiful chocolate skin, their lovely personalities and their light-up-the-room smiles.

We have a big family now especially as extended family now live with us as they have lost their jobs thanks to the Chaudary/Bhai coup. But there is plenty to do. Teitei to be tended, crops to be planted and weeds to be pulled, housework to be done, buka collected and meals to be made for school and the dinner table.

And in the evenings, there is plenty of discussion as our young ones are encouraged to ask us questions about what they see on the TV news. And we are not short on interpreting and commenting on these issues for the kids.

As a family and a mataqali we firmly believe that consulting young people is a key factor in empowering them for making decisions and taking responsibility for actions that they take. This bodes well for the future.

And while it is all too easy for the authorities in Fiji to disparage young people's political actions , they are increasingly hard to dismiss. The urge to ridicule young people's views is irresistible to some at the best of times, let alone when they leave their classes and take to the streets to challenge the government.

For whatever else these youngsters may have learned in class, they have the power and the knowledge to bring governments to heel especially when there are clear societal injustices to be seen.

It is especially gratifying to see Fiji's Youth drawing their lines in the sand, and I must congratulate the Young People's Concerned Network for their fabulous new website.

They have identified their issues and their stand, but also address everyday issues like project opportunities, and jobs in their Youth Classified section, and at the same time they have some fun. They even feature the weather for both Suva and Nadi which I have actually found to be very accurate, more so than the Fiji Met service ! Well done you brave young ones !!

When youth ask for the right to better services for their social and economic and civil benefit and subsequent accountability from leaders, any good Government must engage and participate as this promotes a sense of citizenship and engagement in nation building.

When young people are listened to and their opinions valued, their resilience and self-confidence can be considerably increased.

Bole was in the news recently lamenting the poor pass rate in schools - this is a good example of services shaped to meet youth's presumed needs, rather than the real issues of today.

Due to the blatant "lessons" of law bending and law breaking brought about by the Coups in Fiji, the blurring of what is right and what is wrong, it also reflects the very poor morale of both school administrators and their pupils struggling to make sense of it all.

It is incumbent upon any administration of the day to provide the structures that support a sense of stability and a sense of place in our nation, our cultures and our environments. And teachers and parents to provide the moral senses and guidance that complement this.

No one is winning at the moment.

Our only hope is our youth - the future of Fiji. Ignore them at your peril !


Anonymous said...

Thank you Bubu for a well written, 'from the heart' article.

Yes, young people are the future and the sensible adults have to show the young that criminal activity by the coupsters is to be condemned.

My heart goes out to school principals and teachers who have to endure the rants and ravings of a misguided, incompetent fool of an illegal minister.

From what I have read from this fool, his total knowledge of education could be chiseled onto the back of an asprin.

Schoolies need support as they struggle to compensate their students for the failure of the jaundiced junta to provide stability and leadership.

How can students be expected to perform well at school when their minds are on other things; parents without jobs, no breakfast and no lunch, no money for bus fares, and now, no buses?

When you have a dysfunctional illegal minister desperately trying to hang onto his illegal, well paying job, you certainly won't see any understanding for the plight of the parents, schoolies or students.

After all, he is also afraid of being shafted by chaudopu$$ and his puppet, bananasinpyjamas.

May I set some targets for this fool;_

* 95% of students in Fiji attend classes each day

* 100% of students can travel to school by public transport each day [ you may need to do something about roads and the cost of fuel ]

* 90% of teachers feel secure and happy in their role.

*100% of administrators feel supported in their role.

Anonymous said...

THere is a line from a song in the musical version of Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables" when a politcally active you boy sings
"SO never kick a dog, because he's just a pup- we'll fight like 20 armies and we wont give up - so you better run for cover when the pup GROWS UP!"
Sounds especially relevant to this blog post.

ihaveadream! said...

tragic that the current fools in charge show no concern for Fiji's future .... the next generation is tomorrow's hope and today's reason to make it