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June 05, 2020

The potential of youth

The term ‘youth’ is used to describe people in the 15 to 35 age group. This age range is when a person’s mental and physical development is in play, when new ideas and thoughts take shape, when new skills are learned easily, and when innovation and the will to change or revolutionize the world are at their peak. It is after the age of 35 that people begin to mature and mellow.
People pursue academic or vocational education during their youth and work hard for their future. While there are young people who find success by pursuing their passion, there are also those who lose their way without a purpose.
The majority of youths in our country are facing serious issues. They include poverty, gender inequality, low quality of education and inaccessibility, low quality healthcare, dangers of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV, unplanned pregnancy, disability, lack of security, violence, political issues, matters related to illegal drugs, and unemployment.
The 2014 Housing and Population Census showed that people from ages 15 to 34 constituted 51.4 per cent of the nation’s population. It further found that 9.20 per cent of the citizens were in the 15-19 age group, 8.61 per cent in the 20-24 age group, 8.25 per cent in the 25-29 age group, and 7.75 per cent in the 30-34 age group.
Myanmar has a sizable potential workforce and if their talents and efforts are harnessed properly, it could potentially catapult national development to a high level within two decades. But, investments made in the education and healthcare of the youths now will only bear fruit in the slightly distant future. We would have seen the results now if similar investments had been made in the past.
Nevertheless, it is a positive sign to see the nation beginning to give full support to its young generation with steps such as the enactment of the Youth Affairs policy in November, 2007. If more youth centers are established in the future, they can facilitate healthy social growth and empowerment of our future leaders.


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