Mugabe Mulls Mandatory National Youth Service

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PRESIDENT Mugabe has expressed concern over the youths of Zimbabwe whom he chastised for being involved in immoral behaviour and rampant abuse of drugs and other intoxicating substances. Speaking at his 91st birthday celebrations in Victoria Falls yesterday, Matabeleland North Province, President Mugabe said there was a need to have moral empowerment advocacy.

“Our party and Government shall continue to monitor and evaluate all our policies. However, the youth should take advocacy and conscious action for behavioural change. They should shun all forms of immoral and life destroying behaviour and conduct,” he said

According to the Ministry of Health and Child Care about 10 percent of Zimbabweans are mentally ill and most of these are youths who following the abuse of drugs and other harmful substances get mentally unstable.

On the issue of corruption the President said the youths had to shy away from the scourge.
“Corruption should be avoided, in addition to having the ambition to do great things for the nation and their families hence we discourage in the strongest terms the increase of the use of drugs, alcohol and other intoxicating substances,” said President Mugabe.

This, he said, led to the abuse of other younger children by the drug using youths.
“Without discipline surely our youths will be doomed, we want moral empowerment advocacy. We want that teaching which comes out of Christianity to be real to be practical,” he added.

The President said youths in the country should strive to be leaders of tomorrow by attaining an education.
In light of this a psychomotor skills ministry was introduced recently in the country with the President saying there should be one Vocational Training Centre in each district that will see youths advancing their skills.

He said Africa’s population has been described as a useful population and the scenario in our own country testifies to that as our own youth were victims of corruption going on in companies.

“Young people have just like us, suffered from sanctions, the imposition of sanctions has disabled the capacity of their elders. Now their elders were placed in high positions, however, they could not earn maximally in their positions so they could not provide as fully as they might have desired,” said President Mugabe.

President Mugabe said the Government recognises the role played by the youth in development and nation building. He said Parliament had now ratified the African Youth Charter as well as reviewed the youth empowerment policy.

He encouraged youths to study hard and acquire an education and also hands-on skills like agriculture, carpentry and building.
The President also castigated the education system by saying it was too academic and lacked the other aspects that made students able to fend for themselves outside formal academic education.

The shift would see the review of the education curriculum which will see the education sector churning out employers not employees.
The President also announced that plans to make the National Youth Service mandatory were under way as it was one of the ways to improve moral uprightness among the young people.

“The National Youth Service aims to inculcate discipline in young people, patriotism, selflessness and self-sacrifices so we want to enhance our National Youth Service dream. It is very important and we would want to get to a stage where every student will have gone through national service training at Ordinary Level and we want to build resources towards that gradually,” said the President.

The National Youth Service is a programme of the Zimbabwean Government for Zimbabweans of ages 10 to 30.
Its stated purpose is to transform and empower youths for nation building through life skills training and leadership development.
The service also serves to instil in young Zimbabweans a sense of national identity and patriotism.

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