The Deputy Minister of Youths Affairs Hon. Luseni Kallon has assured students of Eastern Polytechnic of his government’s commitment to review and fully implement the National Youth Service (NYS) Scheme. He made this statement in the Ahmad Tejan Kabba Hall of the Eastern Polytechnic in Kenema on June 8th during an “Awareness Raising Session with Universities and Colleges” about the NYS Scheme.
The engagement of the students was one of series of engagements the Directorate of NYS has embarked on in the four provincial headquarter districts (Kenema, Bo, Bombali, Port Loko). The purpose of the engagements is to continue the popularization of the NYS Scheme to universities and colleges and more importantly to hold planning sessions with stakeholders (Paramount Chiefs, District Councils, Private Sector, Civil Society Organizations, Police, Military etc) regarding the deployment of Corp Members in their primary place of assignment, Corp Members welfare, accommodation, medical care, supervision, community service amongst other things, ahead of possible deployment of 200 graduate youths in September this year.
Speaking to the students of Eastern Polytechnic in Kenema, the youthful Youth Minister said the welfare of youths in this country rests on the heart of H. E the President Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio. He affirmed that the People’s Manifesto of SLPP speaks gloriously about changing the youths of Sierra Leone. He also confirmed the president’s commitment about rebranding the status of youths in his speech during the state’s opening of the 5th Parliament of the Second Republic on 10th May, 2018, when he mentioned in paragraph 79 that he will “review the current design of the National Youth Service and support its implementation”. The Minister further said the appointment of two youthful Ministers (Mohamed Bangura & Luseni Kallon) to man the affairs of such sensitive ministry is a clear manifestation of the president’s undiluted desire to stand by the youths.
Dilating further on the benefits of the NYS Scheme to the country, the vibrant Youth Minister underscored that it will not only prepare young graduates to learn skills and gain experience, but will also foster development and enhance national cohesion. He remarked that the days of potential employers asking youths graduates “how many years of experience do you have?” will soon be over as after serving one year as Corp members, they will be ripe enough to compete in the job market. He also informed the students that enlisted Corp members will not be deployed in their districts of origins but in other districts. For instance, if a graduate from Kenema District is deployed in Port Loko or Bombali District for one year, there is high possibility that he/she will learn the language and culture of that district and vice versa. He assured them that with this scheme issues of tribalism and regionalism which are very conspicuous in this country will be minimized.
The Minister ended his engagement with the students by encouraging them to grab and grasp the concept of NYS Scheme and serve as ambassadors for other students who were not present. He also assured non- graduate youths that the New Direction caters for all categories of youths and urged them to believe in the system and work as one to achieving the dream of H.E the president.