The Role of Education in Youth Development

y7In every nation, we have different categories of people. We have the toddlers, adolescents, youths and the elderly. Young people make up the major percentage of individuals in this country. Everywhere we go, we see at least a young person. Our youths are very important to the development of this country because are the ones that will carry on the standards we have set. That is why we have to involve ourselves as they go through this stage actively. The youthful stage is a phase which can either break or make the youth and in turn, the country.

Hence, youth development is a stage that prepares young individuals to face the challenges of adulthood. We can achieve this through a series of coordinated activities and experiences. A lot of people believe practical activities will develop young people better. However, this theory has flaws. You cannot neglect the role of education in development.

Education can either be formal or informal. Formal education refers to going to a school and learning the basics of knowledge there. It aims towards attaining a certificate of proficiency in a particular field. Informal education, on the other hand, refers to the learning that happens in everyday life. It could be from what we hear people say. It could be learning from a mistake we made. It could also be learning certain skills such as dancing, singing, playing sports or learning an instrument. Whichever way it comes, either formal or informal, education is crucial in the lives of young people. We can use it to achieve even more than practical activities in a short space of time. The following highlight the role of education in youth development and its importance:

Sharp Reasoning Ability: Formal learning sharpens the reasoning skills of youths. The essence of youth development is to prepare young people for the difficulties that lies ahead of them as adults. Right from middle school to college, we expose children to courses that test their reasoning skills. If the child gets it wrong, we provide answers. For instance, a course that is available in a lot of schools is the quantitative reasoning. It deals more with mathematics and solving equations. However, this does not mean it is not useful. When we reason as humans, we do so in a mathematical way. We compare and contrast situations. We think about the result we will get if we take certain actions. Another example is philosophy. Theoretical reasoning helps us look at things from different perspectives. With relation to youths, if they are in certain situations, they would know how to reason to arrive at the best conclusion. In short, education is a key factor in having any skills.

Healthy Competition: Our society is always on the move. The United States is currently a major world leader. We didn’t get here by seating on our backsides.  We got here by hard work and diligence. It will be difficult to argue the fact that education brings about healthy competition. The healthy competition then aids development. For instance, Facebook was in existence before Twitter. Everybody loved Twitter before Instagram. Now, Snapchat is threatening to take over. The founders could not have even made the social media platform without acquiring the necessary education on how to go about it. It was the training they went through that led them to think of what is already in existence. They built on it and made it better. Our country developed a bit more because of this healthy competition.

Develops Creativity: Both formal and informal education develops the creative side of youths. Creativity is not about art alone. You can be innovative in technology. You can be creative in law. Some individuals are vast in reading.  They read books every day. With the right influence, such person can become a professor. Some young people think deeply and find a different angle to concepts people imagine. Some invent things based on the current need of the society. They are more in tune with the state of the country and how best to use their skills. That is the aim of youth development. The education they go through is what brings the creativity out of them.

Social Skills: The essence of young people building social skills is to be able to have a meaningful conversation anywhere. They should be able to talk to anybody irrespective of their race, class, and background. There are a lot of people from different cultures in our school today. Formal education has significantly helped in this area. Our young people have mingled. They have built on their confidence. In the field of non-formal education, social skills have developed, too. For instance, taking part in debates require logic, excellent listening skills, and, above all, the capability to internalize information and the ability to argue. You cannot teach people how to argue in a formal classroom. You cannot teach people how to pass their points across in a class setting. You can only do this through informal education.

Versatile Knowledge: The purpose of youth development is to develop all areas in a young person’s life. It includes the mental aspect of their lives. Education in youth development brings about all-roundness. Formal education makes a student knowledgeable in courses like Mathematics, English, Physics, and other subjects. We all want to be in a gathering and not get lost in the conversation. When you have knowledge on a few subject areas, this will not happen. You might even be the center of attention. With regards to our youths, we can stand tall in a room full of people and talk about history, politics, health issues and accounting. And we can say education has played a great role in their lives.

Bottom Line

We cannot talk about youth development and not involve education. A lot of ideas, values, and beliefs obtained by the youths come from formal training. As a result, we need to build on our education system. As a teacher, don’t bend the educational standards because you have a few bad eggs in the class. If you have rebellious students in your class, tell them the essence of the class. It is not for you. It is for them. All in all, let’s help our youths to develop themselves.

Photo Credit: Teachingenglish