Plan to allow pupils to wear Afros and to make PE and indigenous languages compulsory
On Friday, the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, released the Draft National Youth Policy 2020-2030, which will be the country's third such ambitious initiative since 2009.
The proposals contained in the draft policy range from tackling joblessness, alcohol and drug abuse, poor health, disability and exclusion, lack of economic opportunities and social cohesion, among others.
According to the draft policy proposals, physical education should be compulsory in every school, university and prison to combat lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.
It also proposes that the Department of Basic Education should audit teaching materials to ensure that they do not contain latent sexism or racism.
”All schools should be encouraged to have an anti-racism policy that supports even small freedoms such as allowing African children to wear natural Afros to school,” reads the draft policy.
Pupils must learn an indigenous language and the government should develop the resources required to support indigenous-language learning, while sign language is progressively introduced in all schools.
To fight substance abuse, the draft policy suggests that the government should introduce recreational facilities and diversion programmes and police reduce the availability of illegal drugs.
”Alcohol should not be sold in proximity to schools and other facilities frequented by young people. Young people should monitor supplier trends and expose corruption in partnership with local police stations,” states the proposals, calling for municipal by-laws dealing with restricting access to alcohol to be strictly enforced.
A workforce dedicated to combating substance abuse should be created, according to the draft policy.
The department believes the problem of substance abuse leads to youth violence such as physical fighting, gangsterism, sexually coercive behaviour, and violence against women, which have been elevated to undesirable levels and are a growing challenge.
The department hopes that the draft policy will contribute to faster economic growth to ensure that two million more young people will be in employment, inculcate a spirit of patriotism, foster a sense of national cohesion and help the youth build their assets and realise their potential by 2030.