National Youth Consultation on Sustainable Development Goals and Education 2030
30th and 31st October 2017 Vishwa Yuvak Kendra, New Delhi
Youth in the age group of 15-29 years comprise 27.5% of the total population1. India is expected to become the 4th largest economy by 2025, contributing about 5.5%-6% to the world GDP, only after the United States, China and Japan2. The population of India is expected to exceed 1.3 billion by 2020 with a median age of 28 which is considerably less than the expected median ages of China and Japan.
The working population of India, is expected to increase to 592 million by 2020, next only to China (776 million), pointing to the fact that youth will make a significant contribution to the economic development of the country. The National Policy rightly emphasizes upon ‘empowering the youth of the country to achieve their full potential and through them enable India to find its rightful place in the community of nations’ (NYP14). Empowering the youth includes the two dimensions of ‘youth development and youth for development’ integrating and interweaving into each other. With the highest youth population in absolute numbers as well as population proportion, youth development takes center-stage to ensure that the young people are equipped with the necessary information, knowledge, skills and attitude to deal with the challenges they face in their growing adolescent years and adulthood. Youth for development involves all those engagements and interventions that youth contribute towards the development of their community, society and nation at large.
As mentioned, NYP 2014 reports that 27.5 percent of the population falls between 15 and 29 years and contributes 34% of India’s Gross National Income (GNI). The total investment of the GoI on Youth Development in 2011-12 was estimated at Rs.90000 crores (NYP 2014) within a total anticipated expenditure of 12.58 trillion rupees3. Rs.2710/- annually is spent on every young individual in this age group, through both youth targeted and youth non-targeted interventions.
1 DATA AS PER CENSUS 2011. DATA AVAILABLE FOR 5 YEAR COHORTS STARTING AGE GROUP 0 TO 4.
2 12TH FIVE YEAR PLAN VOLUME 1.
3 http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/union-budget-2011/Highlights-of-Union-Budget-2011- 2012/articleshow/7592642.cms, downloaded 12th March 2016
The targeted expenditures are on education, skill development, health-care etc., while the non- targeted include food subsidies and employment, among others.
This ‘demographic dividend’ offers a great opportunity to India, however it is also important to make note of the fact that if one were to review the position of the youth from the lens of social exclusion, young people from socially excluded communities, remote locations, conflict situations and those at risk are further challenged multiple times. Their exclusion is intersected with caste, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, class, disability, language, location and various other vectors. Though there have been some efforts from CSOs towards empowering youth through various interventions, it further requires attention, especially in context of youth coming from marginalized sections. There exists a huge gap in terms of youth-focused and/or youth-led civil society organizations. Youth budgeting is yet to gain attention even as child and gender budgeting are in vogue.
Half of India’s population (almost 45%) is comprised of Dalit, Adivasi and Muslim communities which are largely excluded and discrimination based on their “identity and social location” and youth among these communities comprise 35%, 23.8% and 33.1% population respectively (15 to 34 years age group). If we add another socially excluded groups such as LGBTQ, NT/DNT etc then “equity and inclusion” lens becomes one of the major frame of youth interventions in India. The large majority of these youth lives in the rural areas fast moving into urban spaces through migration. Many live in extreme poverty, are first generation learners, with limited marketable degrees or skills. They also form the bulk of the unorganized and own account workers in our country.
They highlight their every day experiences of poverty, discrimination, and exclusion from educational institutions, violence and conflict, migration and being excluded from many development programmes. Only 5% Dalit, 3% among Adivasi and another 4% among Muslims are graduate among these communities. Large of OoSC children, dropped out from educations process, child labour and victims of early marriage comes from these communities. They get “filtered out” from educational institutions at a very early stage and do not move into higher education or skill development in their adulthood process. When they do enter higher education, they are dependent on state colleges, state scholarships and other affirmative action to stay on in the system. Many stall their studies, drop out or fall into trap of “study and work” at the same time. Apart from arranging money to support their own education, some start supporting their families while studying. In this rigor they lose out on any kind of student activities, building additional skills, accessing soft skills or building up social capital. They remain limited to their habitations and community youth and are left out of opportunities that can further their aspirations, talents or careers. Very few of them, in the quest of getting a decent employment, they spend 15 to 20 years in educational institutions, only to end up working in the unorganized sector as labour or migrate to urban areas in search of some employment. This vicious cycle of poverty, exclusion and discrimination infiltrate into other spheres of their life where her/his self, identity and social relevance are being questioned every day.
Existing Promises, Provisions and Gaps
The constitution of India, starting from its preamble to Art 14, 15, 16, 17, 21 A, 29, 30, 38, 41, 46, 47 has provided various provisions, legal safeguards against discrimination and mechanisms to establish equality, promote social and economic interests of these youth. The flagship programme of GoI in the form of pre-matric and post matric scholarship is the largest support system available for socially excluded youth and majority of students studying in educational institutional are entitled to receive this. However, this highly contested provision is hardly adequate, rarely given on time and does not become a natural right of the person in schools and colleges and eligible for them. They have to run from pillar to post every year and re-produce the relevant certificates year after year. The other major scheme – residential schools and hostels are yet again few and far between and maintained in the poorest conditions, often making children run away from them. Sensitivity to their needs and aspirations are far from these schemes or institutions. The Scheduled Caste Sup Plan (SCSP), the Tribal Sup Plan (TSP) and the Multi- sector Development Program are not provisioned or implemented as per the mandate.
The National Youth Policy, 2014 recognises youth as important population dividend. However, a review of the Govt of India and state government policies and provisions point out to an extremely narrow and unimaginative frame-work for releasing the youth potential or realizing the youth population dividend. As of now, the major focus is on skill development to build a low paid productive work force. A few other schemes are disjoint and mismatched leadership building programmes, community development programmes, and national service schemes. NSS, NYK etc top the list since a few decades without much result.
Moving Forward from 2015 and beyond
We are convinced that the concerns of the socially excluded young people need to be centre- staged in all national development policies. To address these widespread issues of marginalized youth, in 2015, when the world was finalizing it’s development goals in the form of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), over 200 youth (young women and men) from Dalit, Tribal and Muslim communities from ten states of India gathered together at New Delhi to declare their agenda to ‘Leave No One Behind’ at the national and global level. A declaration and blue print in 10 important areas (School Education, Higher Education, Health, Environmental Justice, Employability and Skill development, Media and Social Justice, Poverty and Inequalities, Youth and Governance, Urbanisation, Youth in difficult circumstances) were released as youth declaration by keeping SDGs 2030 as an aim to achieve those goals, if socially excluded youth needs to be brought into mainstream and utilize their potential. It was widely disseminated at the sub-national and national level through the National Youth Equity Forum and it’s annual OYSIS (Organising Youth for Socially Inclusive Societies) Internship programme. It has been further
used for global advocacy in the light of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).
National Youth Summit 2017
National Youth Equity Forum (NYEF) in collaboration with National
Coalition on Education (NCE) is giving a call to youth across 14 states to
gather at national level to understand what global communities has promised
to deliver under SDG 4 i.e. Quality Education and how the national and local government
in our country is working towards achieving those promises. Objectives of the 2017, youth summit are:
! Awareness and sensitization of the socially excluded youth about the SDG-4 and its varied targets
! Jointly evolve an action plan, strategies to encourage youth to take up campaign towards promoting “equitable, discrimination free, quality education and educational governance process including budget
! Releasing youth charter of demands under SDG 4, while engaging with parliamentarians, educationists and other field experts
! Enhancing greater engagement of youth in social media campaign on “Realizing SDG- 4 at all levels” for broader participation of youth and other stakeholders
Selection of Youth Leaders:
A total of 70-100 youth from 14 states would be coming as part of NYEF and NCE state chapters from identified through the Community led organizations and teachers’ unions.
3. Uttar Pradesh
9. West Bengal
13. Himachal Pradesh
Methodology of the two-day consultation:
Day 1- Devoted for an in depth understanding of the SDG – 4 with the support of experts. This is followed by the youth developing their strategies and demands for achieving the SDG 4.
Day 2 – Presentation and Release of the demands and dialogue with various stakeholders like parliamentarians, educationists, CSO members, UN officials and government representatives etc. Following which the youth will develop an action plan to take the campaign titled as “equitable, discrimination free, quality education for all” to their respective states and panchayat. The campaign hope to generate a national equity report on education by next year by preparing these youth as education leaders on SDG-4.
1. 100 Young people from socially excluded communities become familiar with SDG 4 and are encouraged to track and follow up at their local governance levels.
2. Local government is made aware of SDG 4 –targets and indicators and supported to achieve the same
3. A national report on the status and best practices being undertaken by CLOs on the gaps and challenges in achieving SDG4
4. Local, state and national outreach and advocacy to implement
National Coalition on Education
NCE is a conglomeration of All India Primary Teachers’ Federation (AIPTF), All India Secondary Teachers’ Federation (AISTF), All India Federation of Teachers’ Organization (AIFTO), All India Association of Christian Higher Education (AIACHE), World Vision India, People’s Campaign for Common School system (PCCSS), Parliamentary Forum for ensuring implementation of Right to Education, and Civil Society Organizations. It aspires to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all. NCE strives to advocate for the right to Education for sustainable development with active participation of Civil Society Organizations, Trade Unions, Community, and Policy makers to make education a reality for all by 2030.
Contact Person: Ms. Noopur Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone number: 9650110209
National Youth Equity Forum & Centre for Social Equity and Inclusion
National Youth Equity Forum (NYEF) is platform for Dalit, Adivasi and Muslim youth representing several states of India and striving to nurture leadership of young people willing to critically engage on the issues of social exclusion, equity and Inclusion. It is a platform nurture by CSEI and hundreds of Community Led Organisations (CLOs) working across several states of India. Leadership Development Programme for Inclusion, OYSIS Internship Proggramme for all sections of youth to critically engage with CLOs and build working perspective with Dalit, Tribal, Muslim and NT/DNT communities, piloting innovative social inclusion models with CLOs, strengthening employability and entrepreneurial skills of youth etc are some of the ongoing programmes of NYEF.
Contact Person: Mr Satyendra Kumar, Co Founder & Director at CSEI, Mentor and Organiser of NYEF