Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Ministry rebranding to empower youths

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PUTRAJAYA: The Youth and Sports Ministry is to undergo rebranding in the effort to empower youths to face bigger challenges, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said Tuesday.

He said it was necessary for the organisation, as a leader in the area of youth activities nationwide, to undergo a restructuring for the sake of youth development.

A committee headed by the minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, would be set up to undertake a comprehensive study of the ministry's structure, he added.

"The study will take into consideration the staff, resources, its structure and role in coordinating various agencies and working closely with youth organisations throughout the country," he told reporters after chairing a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Youth Development, here.

He said the meeting also agreed to review the National Youth Development Policy 1997 to align it to the current needs of youths and focus on specific groups among youths.

Muhyiddin said the Youth Development Lab submitted its report at the meeting, recommending several initiatives to empower youths. The ministry had been asked to study the proposals, he added.

"It proposed a Malaysian Youth Park, but the Cabinet had decided that Putrajaya become the youth-friendly city," he said.

He also said the lab proposed a Malaysian Youth Chamber to serve as a parliament to enable youths to discuss and propose views, and a Youth Icon to identify a national personality as an icon.

"The ministry feels that there are leaders and personalities in the community who can be models for the Leader Mentorship Programme," he said.

Muhyiddin said one proposal was to involve the young generation in the school system in youth activities and for early education to begin at the age of six.

"Youth activities have been started in schools. There are clubs, but they are not called youth clubs. However, their activities are related to youths.

"Proposing that the age for starting school be brought forward, they felt that five years was more appropriate. This is in accordance with the view of the Education Ministry. We agree in principle," he said.

Muhyiddin said many countries had implemented the system where children begin school at six years, a year earlier than now.

However, he said, the matter was still under study because a huge financial allocation was required for infrastructure, teachers and so on.

He said a committee headed by the director-general of education had been set up to look into the matter.
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