The Executive Director of the National Youth Service, Onanah Jalloh has recently called for a joint effort to address issues affecting youths across the country. Jalloh made the call at a United Nation’s Population Funds (UNFPA) sponsored stakeholders’ engagement with representatives of Ministries, Departments and Agencies as well as private sector players, hosted at the Atlantic Hall, National Stadium Hostels, Brookfields Freetown.
The meeting discussed the effective implementation of the National Youth Service (NYS) Scheme. Jalloh in his remarks said that the NYS Scheme was passed into law by an Act of Parliament in 2016 and was operationalized in 2018, explaining that his agency has successfully enlisted, trained and placed on a yearlong internship to various institutions over one thousand, five hundred university graduates.
He said that a greater percentage of NYS service members are being retained in the institutions they served, noting the decision to retain NYS corps MDAs and private sector institutions is as a result of the rigorous practical and theoretical training imbibed in them before they are deployed to those institutions.
“We need to change the state of young people in this country. We need to help young Sierra Leoneans discover their true potentials by creating the needed platform and guide them on how to transform their lives for self-development and empowerment and the general good of the nation, and that is what we are doing at the NYS” Jalloh said.
He implored government and development partners to invest in the NYS scheme to enable the system to expand and diversify its operations, pointing out that the NYS is the driving force to transform the mindset of youths and to develop the economy.
Jalloh touched on challenges in paying corps’ monthly stipends and lack of the needed logistics to effectively monitor them during their yearlong internships to MDAs and private sector institutions.
Representatives of MDAs, development partners including private sector players expressed sincere appreciations for the relentless commitments of the NYS team in serving the youths, and however recommended to NYS to improve on its Monitoring and Evaluation of corps.
Edward Fomba of Standard Chartered Bank suggested that NYS needs to identify strategic areas in the 2016 Acts for Public Education to help bring some of issues discussed to public attention for required solutions.