How many times have we heard, “They are not aware of what they have committed?” Or, “I wish they had had enough guidance?”

With youth suicide worldwide on the increase, it is time to find sustainable solutions to transform these heart-wrenching questions into feasible and implementable actions.

One solution that I propose is to include “self-development” as a subject at all levels of education – pre-primary, primary, secondary and tertiary. The advent of self-development in the school curriculum will ensure that this generation of youth are educated on how to say no, how to communicate better and how to find good companionship; failure is not the end of the world, but rather a learning opportunity that offers leadership skills and various other self-development traits. This is what is missing in our society.

Self-development as a subject will ensure that each and every youngster is able to know themselves while defining their own limits of what to do and what not. This missing dimension is an alarming one for the youth of today have moved into a critical zone whereby they are seen as the cause for various societal flaws. I will not support this argument with quantifiable facts, but would rather request that you take the time from your busy life to think about these issues – juvenile delinquency, teen pregnancy, youth suicides, HIV/AIDs, crime, rape and the list goes on.

What creates so much negativity in our mind that leads us to take wrong decisions in life? It is obviously a lack of the right education. I use the term “right” because we often confuse education with English literature, math and other subjects, which is a total misconception.

Within the boundary of schools, colleges or universities, self-development as a subject or module will allow the possibility of coaching. Inclusion of self-development as a subject would solve part of the problem; designing a coaching or mentor programme will solve the other part. It is time to stop focusing only on school qualifications, but to base schooling on self-development.

Let us cascade the wisdom of self-development to youngsters for us to avoid saying “I wish he had enough guidance.”

Kevin Keenoo is a Global Shaper from the Port Louis hub. He is an active youth organiser, author, and photographer.

Photo Credit: Kevin Keenoo