Young Malawians challenged to reclaim their space

Unless Malawian youths start taking charge and reclaim their space in a way that is constructive and forward thinking, they will continue being treated as empty minds that can only function once stocked with adult instructions and supervision.

The observation was made Thursday in Lilongwe by Dr Steve Sharra, a renowned Malawian education expert, writer and academic at the start of a two-day Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Youth Consultative Forum (YCF).

But the young Malawians have asserted that time has now come to take themselves as leaders of today and never tomorrow as they endeavor to give back to their nation.

Youth participants pose for a group photo with Dr Sharra and other officials- Pic Lucky Mkandawire

Dr Sharra making his presentation

Dr Sharra, in his keynote address, observed that the country needed a different brand of engagement with the youth of today as they are distinct from those of earlier generation, yet their mindsets remain the same.

“There is a generation gap manifesting itself in a clash of mindsets. The institutional culture remains stuck in a mindset that treats young people as a tabula rasa [an empty mind that needs filling with adult advice and supervision]. Unfortunately, this includes education system,” noted Sharra, who is also the vice board chairperson for YCF.

In the education system, he said, despite the transformations in the curricular meant for involving students in a more meaningful and more participatory way, many educators still imagine in lecturing young people and telling them what to do.

Sharra observed that such disjointing in the system is what has resulted in weekly vandalisation of school properties and distraction of their learning.

“The challenge is for young Malawians to take charge and claim their place… The most important way of doing is through self-education. And the starting point is familirisation with current research and policy formulation so as to reclaim your space well informed and well prepared,” he explained.

The vice board chair also urged the youth to deal with national confidence crisis because, while many youth feel hopeless “not everyone is paralysed by the cynicism and hopelessness.”

Executive Director of National Youth Council of Malawi (NAYCOM), Aubrey Chibwana, also observed in his separate presentation, most Malawian youths are losing opportunities because they have decided to take a backseat.

But Edward Chileka-Banda, YCF National Coordinator, said time had now come for the youths to have collective voice and think critically and strategically in order to start reclaiming their space.

 Displaying The youths attending the AGM- Pic Lucky Mkandawire.jpg Displaying Youth participants pose for a group photo with Dr Sharra and other officials- Pic Lucky Mkandawire.jpg View all Some of the youths listening to a presentation- Pic Lucky Mkandawire


Some of the youths listening to a presentation- Pic Lucky Mkandawire

Edward Chileka Banda making his remarks

Edward Chileka Banda making his remarks

Youth participants pose for a group photo with Dr Sharra and other officials- Pic Lucky Mkandawire

Youth participants pose for a group photo with Dr Sharra and other officials- Pic Lucky Mkandawire

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