Many of the behavioral and attitudinal patterns that man follows are borrowed from different role models.
In fact, the attraction and the need for a role model is one of the basic human characteristics that are usually stronger during teenage years and is greater among youths.
Whether consciously or unconsciously, teenagers and young people choose certain role models for themselves and try to adapt their behavioral and attitudinal patterns with those of their “heroes”.
The various role models:
Peers are one category of role models for many teenagers and young people that play a significant role in their lives.
Most teenagers and young people are known to copy the ways of talking, clothing, behavior, etc. of their peers, often depending on the prevalent values and values systems of the various groups.
The second group of people that plays a great role in the lives of many teenagers and young people is their teachers.
Even if the degree of inclination that teenagers and young people show towards their teachers may have different causes like the attitude and behavior of the teacher, the opinions of their friends about particular teachers, their experiences with earlier teachers, and the flexibility that teachers show on different occasions and in relation to different issues, teachers are however generally known to have a very influencing impact on their students.
- Religious Leaders
Religious leaders and great religious scholars, poets, and mystics are also chosen as role models by many teenagers and young people; and many youths try to mould their social and ethical conduct according to the influences of these leaders.
- Film and Television Stars
Some teenagers and young people choose film and television stars as their role models and imitate their behavior, mannerisms, and attitudes-both on and off the screen-oftentimes without even being present to the artificiality of such behavior.
- Sports Personalities
The other group of people that some teenagers and young people take up as their role models are popular sports personalities.
The trend has greatly increased with the popularity of various sports teams in the International arena.
- Scientists and Political Personalities
Popular scientists and political figures, too, are chosen by some teenagers and young people as their role models.
This is due to fact that scientists and politicians are considered as important personalities with a high social standing.
In order to guide teenagers and the youth towards choosing and selecting the right role model e need to provide them with appropriate conditions and situations by way of which they can know and get acquainted with character and personality of such ideal role as Noble and such scholarly people who have followed the footsteps of some of the greatest exemplars in the history of mankind.
The most appropriate means of providing teenagers and young people with conditions and situations through which they can get acquainted with such exemplars and role models are:
- Providing them with interesting authentic books about the personalities and the lives of these great people.
- Through good films and television serials.
- By encouraging them to read scholarly and scientific books and periodicals; and getting acquainted with the world of outstanding scientists, cultural, historical, social, and art personalities.
- If possible, by providing them with the opportunity to meet and talk with the above-mentioned personalities.
Significant challenges of youth as part of their transition to adulthood, which diminish their ability to contribute to the overall development of Zanzibar.
Recognizing this, the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar (RGoZ) has developed policy frameworks addressing youth issues, although they face considerable implementation challenges.
These policies include the Zanzibar Youth Development Policy, Youth Employment Action Plan, and Zanzibar Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty (MKUZAII).
The Youth Map assessment utilized purposive sampling strategy to select and learn from Zanzibari youth and stakeholders from public sector, civil society, and education institutions in order to better understand the situation of young people.
It captured youth perspectives on the education, employment, health, and governance sectors, as well as cross-cutting issues such as gender and technology.
Key findings are as follows:
- Both employers and young people feel that training courses are not aligned with the labor market and fail to prepare youth to take advantage of livelihood opportunities in Zanzibar.
- While interested, young people are discouraged from working in agriculture due to perceived barriers such as lack of access to land and training.
- Zanzibari youth are not actively participating in politics due to limited space for youth, and cultural perceptions, which particularly impact young women.
Youth Map initiative provided the following recommendations:
- Align tertiary and vocational skills training programs with current and future labor market demands so they respond to the needs of employers.
Through partnerships with employers, follow up with regular information exchange that helps identify skills needs and job opportunities.
- Incentivize youth to participate in the agriculture sector, through provision of skill development, access to finance and markets, and subsidized agricultural inputs.
Targeted skills training, mentoring, and cultural dialogues can be introduced to empower young women to engage in jobs traditionally held by young men.
- Expand access to youth-friendly sexual reproductive health services and promote health seeking behavior among youth in a culturally appropriate manner.
- Establish culturally appropriate institutional frameworks that allow young people to dialogue with older people–and encourage youth participation in politics and civic activities.
This could include strengthening of the National Youth Council as envisaged in the National Youth Policy.
- Find avenues for youth to participate in monitoring the government’s use of public resources and provision of social services working with government authorities and local civil society groups.
- Integrate women’s empowerment approaches to build self-confidence, leadership, and life skills of young women so they can make positive life decisions and become economically productive.
Youth Map asked young people in Zanzibar about their circumstances, challenges, and aspirations as part of their transition to responsible adulthood.
They clearly articulated their ambitions, as well as socioeconomic and cultural issues affecting them in areas of education, employment, health, and leadership.
Critical issues that were highlighted included: learning practical skills, securing meaningful work, receiving fair compensation, and accessing youth-friendly health services.
Young women face additional barriers to access services, but are increasingly engaging economically and politically. Young people of both genders talked about their strong desire to lead in their communities, while at the same time highlighting cultural and institutional barriers for them to participate in local governance systems. Nevertheless, many remain optimistic about the future, demonstrating their resilience and strong desire to learn, work, and lead
The Zanzibar Youth Development Policy was formulated in 2005, which has since been revised to cater for new developments affecting youth.
The new policy (2012-2017) seeks to change the community and youth perceptions so that they acknowledge young people’s role in the development of the nation and lead in the fight against poverty.
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