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The challenges of educating young people in Africa

A special radio program with the Director of AJAN P. Ismaël Matambura SJ on Radio Don Bosco Ivato Antananarivo – Madagascar

Africa is a continent with a greater number of young people. It is an opportunity for its development and for its future, especially if these young people will have the necessary supports that they need. However, we see that they face several challenges that we will try to present and answer briefly in this summary of the radio program carried out last Thursday, October 13.

First, the governance and leadership of state officials in Africa are failing to meet the needs of our young people. This age group of the population that is growing and developing potential needs space, opportunity, as well as a platform to be able to grow further and plan for their future. Leaders should have strategic thoughts to take advantage of this youth and provide a better future for the country: how do we envision our young people in the next 30 years? There follows the problem of the educational infrastructure relating to the establishment and to the teaching and administrative staff.

This is also linked to the problem of teachers who feel demotivated because of other challenges they face in this area. Moreover, all this brings back to students the culture of least effort; the lack of vision as well as the infrastructure problem limit them to settle for the minimum and lack of excellence in their daily performance. In addition, young people today also face the challenge of lack of life principle and values, copy-and-paste imitation and camaraderie have become blockages to deeper self-knowledge: having one’s own principles and values ​​means that there are things you cannot negotiate and things and values ​​that you have to commit to.

The inclination to drugs and alcohol, due to the media and hysterical advertisements, are also challenges for our young people; not to mention the poverty and social inequality that are only growing on the African continent. Finally, there is also the use of available technology which should be a means of learning, but has become a distraction especially on social networks while this blocks growth and education in all areas.

The consequences are harmful if we can only cite the lack of seriousness in learning, the exploitation of the weakest; the increase in inequality, poverty and misery, early marriage, dropping out of school, corruption, the low level of education, we have young people who no longer know how to say no, because they do not have been prepared for this given the context in which they have moved and finally HIV/AIDS and STIs.

As an African Jesuit network that fights against HIV/AIDS, the AJAN (African Jesuit Aids Network), through its AHAPPY program (AJAN HIV/AIDS PREVENTION PROGRAM FOR YOUTH) or the HIV education and prevention program/ AIDS for young people offers a holistic formation for the man and every man to our young people. This program aims at a more fulfilled and responsible youth, capable of making decisions and having a vision for their future. Indeed, the AHAPPY training helps young people to aim for excellence, as well as to know their strengths, their weaknesses, their talents, their principles and values, their mature choices, their commitment, etc. : in all “self-awakening” to contribute to a better world with more concrete actions that they can do at their level. Currently, all our efforts are devoted to promoting education program in our continent, including Madagascar!!!

By, Masy Alinoro

CA MDG Team, Madagascar

Pe. Matambura Ismael, SJ


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