Youth and Students for Peace (YSP) observed International Youth Day on August 7, 2019 by hosting a small group discussion on the 2019 theme “Transforming Education”. The discussion was open to the public and held at a cafe in New York City from 10am-11am. Ricky De Sena, the YSP Media and UN Relations Administrator, facilitated the event and prepared questions to help guide the discussion. The group shared about inclusivity and accessibility in education and what that means to each person.
The facilitator shared how education is the cornerstone for the Sustainable Development Goals and asked what can illiteracy and lack of education lead to for a country. Some participants expressed that the economy of a country might not develop well and the educated could take advantage of the uneducated. The topic of morality in education was also brought up and if those who are educated are going to give back to their countries. Many countries face the problem of “Brain Drains” where the highly intelligent and educated people end up leaving their country. Another good point brought up on education and morality was “What is the difference between a dictator and benevolent leader?”
Discussion participants also shared personal experiences in school and how certain teachers made a big impact on them because they sincerely cared about the students and their academic progress. It’s clear how teachers play such a big role in a youth’s life, not just academically, but also with learning values and integrity through their example.
Other topics discussed were why education is important for peace and what youth can do to tackle issues facing education today. Without education there can’t be peace. We all need to learn how to address the different issues in our communities, countries and world. Every little thing we do can make a difference. How can you use your education today?