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close this bookGuidance, Counselling and Youth Development Newsletter (UNESCO, 1999, 20 p.)
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View the documentCo-operation - Building a better world
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A message for girls, “You can do it if you really want to but you must try, try and try, try and try, you will succeed at last” -Jimmy Cliff


The future of our world is in the hands of those who are young today. Therefore the better the young are educated and informed, the greater the number of the skills they acquire, and the sounder their health in body and mind, the more they will be able to assume the great responsibilities which will one day be theirs. It is a matter of considerable concern that little or nothing is being done to prepare millions of young people throughout the world for the tasks that face them in the future. Millions of children do not attend school at all, millions more drop out of school after only a few years of learning, while in many instances the education that they do receive is irrelevant to their real needs. Moreover girls and women, who make up half the world’s population, and are an invaluable human resource, continue to be deprived of access to learning opportunities for cultural, social and economic reasons.

Education for all, which should be a universal aim, is the responsibility of all. It is not the exclusive duty of school teachers and university lecturers to instruct. It is also the task of family and community members, health and extension workers, the business community, craftsmen and craftswomen, the press and publishers, the media and the latest information technology. In the learning society everyone has a duty to learn and whenever possible to teach. Human development will only take place when the importance of education as a tool for social and economic progress is given the recognition that it deserves, and it is accepted that the involvement of all members of the community in educational programmes is essential.

Many initiatives are now being undertaken in different parts of the world with the assistance of UNESCO, other international agencies and NGOs, in order to make educational services more efficient in meeting learning needs and to ensure that healthy and competent young people are available to assume the onerous responsibilities that await them. One of these initiatives is the Guidance and Counselling Programme for Youth Development in Africa, which is now well under way. It is hoped that it will show educators how careful planning and regional and international co-operation can promote programmes designed to meet the concerns and interests of young people.

Technical working group meeting

This Newsletter is our way to inform about it. It is also a forum for your ideas and experiences. Comments and suggestions from readers regarding the implementation of the programme will be welcome.

Colin N. Power
Deputy Director-General
for Education