The United Nations Report mentioned on the front page of yesterday’s issue showing concerns about the joblessness in Samoa is a matter not to be taken lightly.
Around the Region Development has rapidly changed island nations rich in culture and resources and the whole dress up which is urbanization comes like an epidemic with side affects likened to social Ebola. In Samoa case we fall short of mineral deposits and land resources characteristic of our brother nations Papua, Fiji and Vanuatu to name a few. However, our greatest resource is our people.
A New Zealand Quota Scheme with a ceiling, temporary seasonal worker programs and UN Peace Keeping are a few but far from adequate opportunities to curb growing joblessness. A requirement Government should look into is a home-based opportunity for both our skilled and unskilled labour force. You may scoff at the idea, but militarization maybe an option to address the problem. I am not talking about a military force that fights battles more so an option to further ones personal development while earning a salary.
They key concern of the report is youth unemployment, school leavers who generally lack the skills suggestive because their limited education. These are the target group of this piece people who don’t succeed in written education but are probably more likely to thrive in a more practical applied education characteristic of military training and development. The nature of Samoa being responsive to peer direction from a young age and a total respect for ones elders does suggest a regimental type development system would be a rewarding avenue for jobless youth.
Common social problems stemming from youth unemployment like gang culture, alcohol and drug abuse are usually direct products of aimlessness. Being idle is proven to be key factor in youth crime and the severity of the offending. It is imperative to understand that trades options far outweigh subjects available in formal education in Samoa. What better vehicle to develop this than a military where they would be paid a severance while building a career.
Literally taking the ‘be all you can be’ military slogan would be a good step in the right direction for our youth. The whole nature of prevention rather than finding a cure is where Samoa focus should be. A benefit we have in Samoa is although we may be the forefathers of the independence movement in the Pacific, our cautious approach to development does put us in a better predicament than our neighbours. Riots, youth and general social unrest in neighboring communities to great extent are the result of failing to support youth.
News shows an increase in youth crime, some may say a result of poor parenting, but I bid to differ.
As a parent with children who have left school I often ponder over their options and see them far from adequate with only bleak futures ahead. We must see through their eyes as well and how low self esteem can set in with an uncertain future path. We must understand personal development is ongoing and it should be positively nurtured by all sector of our community.
Journalist Robert S McCain described it well, “Idle minds are the devil’s research and development department.” It’s all about alternative options to mainstream education, this would be a great government focus especially considering school leaver numbers will increase faster than job openings in paradise.
Oka se idle!