UNICEF AND YOUTH: "I know my rights and obligations, and I don't want to be silent"

On the panel in Sarajevo, the youth presented their views on the current situation in BiH, as well as the ideas of what and how it can and must be done in the next few years in order to stop some of the negative trends

Almir Panjeta for UNICEF
Mladi na panelu u Sarajevu iznijeli svoje viđenje situacije u BiH trenutno,
UNICEF/Panjeta

07 June 2019

"All people who criticize our generation, forget about who raised them. The curricula by which we study are outdated, they need to be improved, schools should be connected to the business sector and that we can practically use what we learn," said Tarik, a high school student from Sarajevo, one of the participants in the panel where young people from BiH talked to UNICEF staff in BiH and with a special panel guest, Afshan Khan, regional director of UNICEF for Europe and Central Asia.

The young people presented their views on the  current situation in BiH, as well as the ideas of what and how some things can and must be done in the next few years in order to stop some of the negative trends.

"In the Association of High School students, we conducted a research, and students said that they were not so dissatisfied with the quality of teaching, but that they would definitely like to keep the classes even better. They have a lack of quality practical teaching, lack of experience on the ground and fieldwork. One of the proposals we received from young people are student cooperatives through which their activities could be self-sustaining, " said Azra from the Association of High School Students of BiH, while Lejla from the IT Girls Initiative drew attention to the fact that jobs are still divided on „male“ and „female“ jobs today in Bosnia and Herzegovina:

"We still think that there are male and female jobs and that IT is not for girls or women, and that is something that is unacceptable. Curricula need to be improved, and teachers need to understand the importance of lifelong learning and to update the curriculum, children shouldn't learn under obsolete curricula," Lejla said, and Vedrana from the High School of Economics turned to the fact that an increasing number of young people want to leave BiH, she underlined the need to act in concrete cases and how "the young shall inherit the earth " should not be just a phrase, but must be realized:

"By leaving the country, the majority cannot solve a lot, because if they are incapable here, they will also be incapable wherever they go. I will not leave this country, but I will study and manage by myself. I do not need anyone because I'm communicative and because I know! ", said Vedrana, and Amila from AS BIH added that young people should be more active and aware of what belongs to them, but also what is expected of them and what they need to fight for:

"I know my rights and obligations, and I don't want to be silent, I want to fight for what belongs to me!"

Panel sa mladima i predstavnicima UNICEF-a
UNICEF

Edin- law Faculty student and a mediator at the „Romalen“ Association, as a major problem also presented the fact that young people often do not have the opportunity to show what they know, even though they are trying and wanting to show:

"I was the first Roma in my high school, and I remember when professors didn't give me the opportunity to show what I know. In addition to all that, the curricula we've been working by are 40 years old, the knowledge that we got is useless, it's was like holding birds in a cage, and one day they open the door and say 'Go Now', completely incapable of living in the real world . We need more informal education, we need more gatherings like this where we can exchange information, get acquainted with what we do. Young people need to focus more on themselves and make more effort to come to the fore, because many people have knowledge and competencies that are not used, " Edin pointed out, adding that Adnan pointed to a situation where young people who encounter media content are mostly cluttered with negative news:

" Young people are mostly presented with bad things and they can hardly get useful information. A lot of my peers are not motivated; there is an atmosphere where they have the impression it doesn't pay off to be involved in anything and think they will solve everything by leaving, but that's not the case. If they don't want to work here, they will not want to work elsewhere, " Adnan said.

Student prava Edin i medijator u Udruženju “Romalen” kao veliki problem iznio je i činjenicu da se mladima često ne da prilika da pokažu šta znaju
UNICEF/Panjeta
Svima su puna usta jednakosti, ali kada se treba da se nešto konkretno uradi za djecu s poteškoćama i osobe s invaliditetom, onda nema adekvatne podrške
UNICEF/Panjeta

Jasmin was among the participants, a "sit-down comedian" and an activist for the rights of persons with disabilities and children with disabilities in BiH who spoke about the need for more concrete support:

"Everyone speaks about equality, but when there is something to be done specifically for children with disabilities and people with disabilities, then there is no adequate support. There is no solution to facilitate children with disabilities to provide for themselves after they graduate from school," said Jasmin.

UNICEF Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia, Afshan Khan, who attended the panel, said she was satisfied with the amount of knowledge, the will and the aspirations that the young people showed, and she underlined the commitment of UNICEF to talk about everything that concerns young people with young people:

"UNICEF has been listening youth so far, but in the coming period we will be listening to young people even more, because young people have the potential to bring positive changes in society. They have ideas and creativity and want to be more involved, and not only knowing what their rights are, but also how to achieve them. Therefore, in the next five years, UNICEF wants to involve young people as much as possible, and not only to create programs for young people, but to create programs with young people, " Afshan Khan said, and the representative of UNICEF for BiH, Geeta Narayan was also satisfied with the panel:

„Often, we can hear that the youth are passive and don't want change, but today I have seen a lot of  motivation and the desire to change the world, and UNICEF is here to support this motivation," concluded Geeta Narayan.

Mladi ucestvuju u panelu
UNICEF/Panjeta