Minister for Youth and Sports Hon. Laisenia Tuitubou while making the presentation. Photo: SUPPLIED.
Fiji’s efforts in developing the youth population in the country was today presented at the 5th Minister of Youth World Forum.
Minister for Youth and Sports, Laisenia Tuitubou while making the presentation said that as a Small Island Developing State, these forums offered the chance to showcase to the world the pursuit for development targeted towards the Fijian youth population.
“The significance of this conference is immeasurable as it cannot be over emphasized due to the prevalence and subsequent presence of social and economic problems that are derived from the absence or lack of sound characters and values in our youth population,” said Mr Tuitubou.
With the forum’s theme being “Character Education: Present and Future”, Minister Tuitubou said that there was a need to revitalize the weakening minds of young people.
“In today’s drastically changing global society, coupled with the need to revitalize and strengthen the weakening mindset of today’s youth around the world, the need for character education is all the more relevant.
“Presently, the Fijian Government has put in place programmes to instil virtues and values on our young people; through the Ministry of Youth and Sports facilitated programmes such as the Seeds of Success and accompanying empowerment programmes, we have identified key areas for our youths to implement in order to actively grow,” Hon. Tuitubou said.
While addressing Youth Ministers and educational leaders from 50 countries, Minister Tuitubou also mentioned the programmes that were being undertaken to address the lack of character in youths.
“The notion of a well-disciplined youth population is also being worked towards through the conducting of disciplined training in most primary and secondary schools in Fiji being conducted by the Republic of Fiji Military Forces,” said Minister Tuitubou.
He added that in the coming years, there were also plans to see that all schools along with Ministry of Youth training centres underwent this training with the thought that a disciplined pupil was an ideal student, imparted with values required to address social issues.
“The need to strengthen Character Education is therefore paramount in this day and age because in my opinion, the youth of today are a different breed all together due to today’s cyber-genetic age of smartphones, gadgets, wireless networks and the internet, therefore there should be much emphasis placed on the imparting of moral and human values.
Hon. Tuitubou stated that it was due to the general lack of knowledge about values in life and the negative attitudes and behaviour prevalent among many young people today that had prompted the Fijian Government to reemphasize instruction on moral and human values in schools.
“Changes such as the revaluation of values education in Fiji have been mandated to ensure that students are educated in moral and human values; through this it is hoped that young people will be nurtured to become citizens who will practice and uphold these values which are so very important in the building of a happy harmonious family, community, country and nation,” he said.
Mr Tuitubou also highlighted that the through the strengthening of Character Education, issues such as alcohol & drug abuse, teenage pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, HIV & AIDS and unemployment would be addressed.