Preparing youth for the future and creating shared value
A report on The New Role of Business in Global Education announces that by creating shared value the private sector can play an essential role in solving the education crisis which threatens social stability and economic progress. The Youth Service Learning Program (YSL) at Tomorrow's Youth Organization plays an important role in the local community by creating cross-sector collaboration with local institutions and NGOs to better support the youth development.
According to the report, there are 200 million unemployed people around the world. The study find that graduates are not fully prepared for the labor market even though they are educated and recommends that the private sector become more active in providing insight and leadership as to what skills they would like to see in the workforce. Further, additional emphasis needs to be placed on creating internships and other opportunities to give youth experience in the workplace prior to seeking full time employment. The private sector should cooperate directly with the public sector as well as the local community institution and universities. TYO tries to play an essential role with local universities- An-Najah National University, Al-Quds Open University, Hisham Hijawi Collage, and Berziet University. TYO offers volunteers to opportunity to build on their formal academic education by getting hands-on experience with classroom management, public speaking, and child behavior management. Such experiences help to develop skills like leadership, communication, time management and initiative skills. These skills compliment formal education and help to give context to theoretical information being presented in the school system, thus helping volunteers to be be more prepared to enter the labor market.
While the report recommends several ways for indepentdent instidutions to effect change on the education system at large, I will highlight two roles TYO is taking:
- Take increasing responsibility for the factors outside your company that determine student success. Seek to influence these factors through partnerships, advocacy, and philanthropy. TYO recognizes that youth volunteers lack professional writing skills and leadership skills, particularly as they pertain to presentations and management. As a result, not only does TYO partner with local universities to provide professional competency classes free of charge to students, but TYO also leads trainings and seminars for youth volunteers at TYO.
- "Work with government and other partners to set common standards for defining quality and measuring learning across different types of products and services". TYO works with the universities trying to scale up the volunteers skills. For example, English is essential for the labor market as many institutions have in the requirements a good English speakers, so TYO's interns give An-Najah University students English class to better their language skills, especially that there are many facilities teach in English language, so as the students develop their English skills they improve their academic performance.
The problem with the educational system in Palestine is that practical application of skills and knowledge is completely ignored. As a result, students earn degrees with having no understanding of how to implement they information they've been given. At TYO, we're hoping to make a change in this system by leading the way in service based learning and creating shared value.
-Volunteer Coordinator, Ruba Hayfayda
This program - as part of Student Training and Employment Program (STEP!) - is sponsored in part by the Abdul Hamid Shoman Foundation.