Today, on February 19th, from 12 p.m., in the headquarters of The Government of the Republic of Serbia, the second in a row, Youth Dialogue with the Prime Minister of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, Ana Brnabić was successfully held under the organization of The National youth council of Serbia (KOMS).
More than a year after the previous and the first dialogue, youth representatives and the Prime Minister gathered around once again in order to have a dialogue concerning key issues about following:
- Education of youth
- Employment of youth
- Social rights of youth
In introduction part, the Prime Minister reflected on the previously held Dialogue and emphasized new initiatives and programs that emerged as direct consequence of the meeting between her and youth representatives: trainings on youth policy and sensitization of the Mayor and Presidents of municipalities to include the youth in the processes of decision making, implementation of the program “My first payment” (“Moja prva plata”) and similar. The Government showed readiness to monitor policies together with youth representatives.
Via dialogue, youth representatives presented key issues in these areas and asked questions of crucial importance for solution finding.
Education of youth
Within the topic area of dialogue- education of youth, youth representatives emphasized that education is theoretical and practical learning is essentially necessary in order to acquire skills and it is necessary to break free from the illusion that the educational reform is happening because the end is nowhere to be seen. Non-formal education and volunteering are crucial for improvement of the system of formal education. The issue of formal education accessibility was also emphasized as well as the necessity to provide support for students and high school pupils. The Prime Minister referred to us as a “good practice” example because of innovative educational programs in our curriculum – programming and coding in elementary schools which is very important for the young people to practice logical and algorithmic thinking – how to think, not what to think. The Prime Minister made a promise that by the year of 2022 every school will be well connected and have excellent internet connection and be given necessary equipment – through digital classrooms and didactic material. A unique information based education system is announced to be established as soon as possible.
Employment of youth
Youth representatives presented to the Prime Minister the importance of acknowledging work/job practice within the normative framework and of respecting the standards for implementation of practices that are recognized on european level. Domestic companies need support and concerning that, youth representatives suggested to the Prime Minister the establishment of a fund for supporting young people who decide to start their own companies. The potential for solving youth employment issues is stored in entrepreneurship among others and support is necessary for young agriculturists too.
The Prime Minister said that the Strategy for start-up companies is in progress and she recognized it as key support for mentioned issues. The Science Fund will co-finance good projects in the area of economy which will encourage innovations and use of technologie.
The Prime Minister also recognized the importance of improving work rights of young people and promised to improve following 3 normative frameworks:
- Law of volunteering;
- work practices – via its own law or within the Law of Work.
- The Law of non standard types of working, which is very important for the young.
Social rights of youth
Youth representatives pointed out to the Prime Minister’s attention that young people are being discriminated against on various bases: sexual orientation within social rights of youth. Safety of the youth is endangered, not only physical but also ecological; mental health; dealing with emergency situations. It is important that new measures are suggested and existing ones that are good to be kept on, like Student Polyclinic. Mental and sexual health of the young should be treated as priority.
The Prime Minister also said that we should implement The National Strategy for Mental Health and if it is not adequate, we should work together on making it adequate. She supported the suggestion of participants of the Dialogue to establish a Council for the Safety of Youth and to together with mayors we work on improving safety of youth on local levels in cooperation with National Academy for Public Administration. Via Dialogue, participants opened the topic of the Student Polyclinic – The Prime Minister said she understands young people and the importance of the polyclinic to them and she is ready to keep on with the dialogue about mechanisms to preserve student health protection. The Government will in the next week launch a platform “I keep you” that is meant to improve the safety of the young..
Besides aforementioned areas, we also talked about the Council of Youth – the Prime Minister prioritized the establishment of The Council and announced, for the following week, the decision on this subject as part of The Government’s Agenda.
President of the Executive board of KOMS, Uroš Savić Kain, emphasized that this type of Dialogue of Youth and Institutions is of essential importance and it changes the image of young people as lazy and not informed and also demonstrates and shows political will towards youth policy being discussed with full participation of young people.
The event was held in accordance with all epidemiological measures due to which the media were not present on the event itself.