STRATEGIES FOR EFFECTIVE IMPLEMENTATION OF YOUTH EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMMES IN ABIA STATE, NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

This study was carried out to investigate strategies for effective implementation of youth empowerment programmes in Abia State, Nigeria. To carry out the study, four research questions were posed. The study adopted a descriptive survey design. The study was done in Abia North Senatorial District, Abia State. The population of the study comprised of all the youth working with youth led-organizations in Abia State. The population size of the study was 150. The instrument for data collection in this study was structured questionnaire titled: Strategies for Effective Implementation of Youth Empowerment Programme Questionnaire (SEIYEP). Data collected were analyzed using mean scores and standard deviation and. The major findings of the study disclosed that motivational strategies for effective implementation of youth empowerment programmes in Abia State include; adequate remuneration of trainers, disbursement of long and short term loans, bursary scheme for youth’s educational empowerment, sharing of sewing machines among others. Supervisory strategies for effective implementation of youth empowerment programmes in Abia State among others include; provision of adequate supervision task force for youth empowerment programmes and preparation of guidelines for reporting youth empowerment training activities. Managerial strategies for effective implementation of youth empowerment programmes in Abia state among others include; development of scopes and sequence of the training programmes, provision of curriculum for youth empowerment programme and proper adherence to the curriculum contents of youth empowerment programme. The policy strategies for effective implementation of youth empowerment programmes in Abia State include; promulgation of decree for compulsory youth empowerment training programmes and centres, adoption of youth oriented policies in the state and formulation of decree for formal entrepreneurship training programmes in institutions. Based on the findings of the study, recommendations were made among which are: youth empowerment programmes should be introduced in the curriculum programmes in the institutions of higher learning, post-Primary schools should put in efforts in teaching vocational education and skills acquisition programmes in their various school to enable every Nigerian child to be self-reliant, self-developed and creative, Federal, State, and Local Government should investigate, monitor, supervisor and evaluate all skills acquisitions centres established, run and funds by the government and Nigerian Corpers (NYSC) serving in education sectors should use their nine months training to learn the act of teaching and use the remaining three months to do teaching practice, to enable them get equipped and learn teaching skills for self developed.

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
Background of the Study
Youth is a period of transition from the dependency of childhood to independency of adulthood. At this period adulthood awareness of interdependence as a member of a community is created. Youth also constitutes the backbone and the future of any nation. The progress and future development of any nation depends to a large extent on the youth. This is why most nations have concreted empowerment programmes for their youths. According to the United Nations (2008) youth is defined as anyone between the ages of 15 and 24years. Federal Government of Nigeria (2001) maintained that a person who is aged between 16 and 20 years is a youth. Nevertheless, most of the definitions of youth cited, point to a stage between adolescent and adulthood. Ejiogu (2001) youth is a young person between childhood and adulthood. From the above, it is clear that the definition of youth is relatively subjective, and the transition from one stage to another will vary, therefore sticking to one age bracket can be misleading and thus in every context it is important to outline what is meant by the term youth.

It is also helpful to add that progressive-mindedness is one of the defining characteristics of youth. Therefore, the current thinking is that people beyond the age of 36 who share the ideals of a progressive society are also considered as youths (Uwakwe, 2014). Whatever the age limit, youths are men and women considered to be young, energetic, vibrant and resourceful, who are often engaged in social enterprises that require physical strength and mental capacity (Suleiman, 2006). In Africa, like most developing countries, a person is regarded as a youth when the individual reaches the age which is generally referred to as the age of maturity (Ejiogu, 2001). Youth are the most exuberant, the sharpest in memory, the most talented, the most innovative and the healthiest in most societies. These qualities have made them the most potent resource without which a society is lifeless. For the purpose of this study, the researcher will utilize the age bracket of 18 – 35years to define youth, stressing that this category represents the most active, volatile, and yet the most vulnerable segment of the population. Since youths are considered to be young, energetic, vibrant and resourceful, they need to be empowered for the future development and progress of the nation.

Empowerment refers to the activity of teaching, educating, training, and imparting knowledge, ideas, and relevant skills to the youth both within the formal and informal education system to enable them fully participate in development of society. This view has been supported by Nagia (2015) which set target for the achievement of education for all youth and children. As people experience increased power of choice, an increased power in control of their lives happen simultaneously (Muluka, 2012). The concept of empowerment is based on consistent tendencies of sustainable support mechanisms. This may be the reason why Salami (2013) opined that empowerment is a means of assisting people to overcome obstacles which might prevent them from achieving their potentials. The need to empower arises from the inability of an individual or a group of people to actualize their dreams and reach their greatest potential due to artificial barriers created by individuals and other groups within the same society. Empowerment is widely used in social work and targeted at including people in decision making processes in their communities and raising their level of confidence in life (Fitzsimons, Hope, Cooper & Russell, 2011). Empowerment according to Mpofu & Indabawa (2004) is a process of enhancing feelings of self-efficiency in communities through identification and removal of conditions that reinforce powerlessness. The authors further explained that empowerment has to do with the ability people have to take for an effective control of their lives in terms of being well informed and equipped with regards to education and finance.

This will enable them to pursue careers they desire and to achieve the goals set by them. Also, empowerment here seeks to oppose oppression and marginalization; it can be viewed as a process of increasing interpersonal, socio-economic or political power so that individuals can take action to improve their life situation which will result to youth empowerment.


Youth Empowerment according to Valrus and Fletcher (2006) is an attitudinal, structural and cultural process whereby young people gain ability, authority and agency to make decisions and implement change in their own lives and the lives of other people including adults. Olajire and Komolafe (2013) stated that youths are empowered when they acknowledge that they have or can create choices of life, and are aware of the implications of these choices, make an informed decision and accept responsibility for the consequences of those actions. Muluka (2012) sees youth empowerment as an attitudinal, structural, and cultural process whereby young people derive the ability, willingness, readiness and authority to make decisions and implement positive change in their own lives and to the intended beneficiaries around them. According to Fletcher (2005), youth empowerment means creating and supporting the enabling conditions under which young people can act on their own behalf, and on their own terms, rather than at the direction of others. It simply means assisting the youth to overcome the difficulties which might prevent them from achieving their potentials. Omotere (2011) defined youth empowerment as a process whereby young people gain the ability and authority to make decisions and implement change in their own lives. The author further....

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Attribute: 123 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: N3,000  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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