GIS - August 31, 2012: The first Commonwealth Student Association, which will give student leaders greater opportunities and a greater voice across the Commonwealth in key education decisions, was launched yesterday during the closing of the four-day Youth Forum, at the Mahatma Gandhi Institute Auditorium in Moka.
In her closing remarks, the Commonwealth Deputy Secretary General, Ms MmasekgoaMasire-Mwamba, emphasised the importance for young people as future professionals and leaders to have a say on education issues that affect them as well as the coming generations. According to her, an organised youth voice in education will facilitate Commonwealth-wide access to deliberations and, ultimately, policy outcomes that will shape the future of education.
It is recalled that the Youth Forum was one of four forums held in the margin of the 18th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (18CCEM) which Mauritius is hosting.
Some 100 young people, representing 30 Commonwealth countries, explored the theme Be the Change and their key recommendations were presented to Ministers on Thursday. Young delegates believe that student participation in decision making, especially in education, should be integral and meaningful to the process.
Amongst the other recommendations: educational systems should promote conservation, appreciation and respect for one another irrespective of beliefs and faith; curriculum should be revised regularly, and be relevant to today’s and tomorrow’s students; and all young people should have the right to achieve academic requirement in line with their potential.
It is to be noted that consultations on the structure and objectives of the Commonwealth Student Association were undertaken by student leaders prior to and during the 18CCEM. A steering committee of young people representing students from all Commonwealth regions (Asia-Pacific, Africa, the Americas, Caribbean and Europe) will now take forward their mandate to establish the Association.
The Chair of the steering committee, elected yesterday, is Mr Stanley Njoroge, from Kenya. He will serve a two-year term mandate.