Students from around the Commonwealth concluded their four-day Youth Forum in Mauritius with a call that governments allow future professionals and leaders have a say on education issues that affect them and generations to come. The forum concluded with the launch of the first pan-Commonwealth Student Association.
The Association will enable student leaders from all regions of the Commonwealth to inform thinking and have a voice in key education decisions. It represents the fulfilment of recommendations from young people when they last held an education Youth Forum in Malaysia in 2009.
“It is essential that our future professionals and leaders have a say on education issues that affect them and generations to come. An organised youth voice in education will facilitate Commonwealth-wide access to deliberations and, ultimately, policy outcomes that will shape the future of education,” said Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba, Deputy Secretary-General.
“We in the Commonwealth are taking bold steps to embrace the vast potential in our young people; we have sought to listen to them and are working together to implement the priorities they have emphasised.”
Student leaders have been meeting in Mauritius alongside the 18th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers, which is focusing on the future of education in the Commonwealth and the post-2015 development goal framework. The young people will be presenting their key recommendations to ministers today.
Extensive consultations on the structure and objectives of the Association were undertaken by student leaders prior to and during the conference. With endorsement by ministers, a steering committee of young people representing students from all four Commonwealth regions will now take forward their mandate to establish the Association.
Chair of the steering committee Stanley Njoroge, from Kenya, saluted his fellow students for their work and dedication in making the Commonwealth Student Association a reality. “You have made your flag proud,” he told them.