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Mena Youth Seek a Values-driven Future: The Implication on Education and Society

Mena Youth Seek a Values-driven Future: The Implication on Education and Society
According to Youth Talks, the largest global youth consultation ever conducted, a significant portion of the youth in the Middle East and North Africa, constituting more than one in five participants, are steadfast in upholding their personal values and virtues, indicating a strong moral compass and a deep-rooted commitment to their principles.
DUBAI, [20 October 2023] - The Higher Education for Good Foundation (HE4G) unveils the results of Youth Talks initiative, the largest global youth consultation ever conducted.  It reveals the major aspirations and concerns of youth in the MENA region for their future, emphasizing their desire for a harmonious society based on shared values, a redefined education system that prioritizes values and virtues, and a strong connection to their identity. These insights deserve special attention when developing policies and educational programs aimed at shaping a more just, sustainable, and united future. 
Over 45,000 young people aged 15 to 29 participated in this global consultation across 212 different countries and territories, including 2,298 young MENA individuals. This first open online consultation without incentives allowed participants to freely submit written texts, audio files, and videos, which were analyzed using artificial intelligence (AI) tools to identify the concerns and aspirations of young people worldwide. This initiative collected nearly one million contributions globally.
In 2024, the HE4G Foundation will open offices in Dubai and the second edition of Youth Talks, aiming to have over a million participants worldwide, will be launched from Dubai with the support of UAE.
“We are delighted to see the fascinating insights and aspirations of young people from the MENA region through the Youth Talks consultation. This initiative challenges preconceived notions about youth and emphasizes the importance of giving them a global voice,' said Alice Guilhon, President of the HE4G Foundation.
'Our aim is to connect young individuals with decision-makers for positive societal change by partnering with over 50 organizations worldwide. By understanding their unique perspectives, we can better shape policies and educational programs that truly resonate with the needs and aspirations of the next generation.'
'We are inspired by the passion and commitment of MENA youth in shaping a values-driven future. Their emphasis on personal virtues, peace, and education reform demonstrates their determination to create a more compassionate and united society,' said Marine Hadengue, PhD and Director of Youth Talks. 'By listening to their voices and understanding their unique perspectives, we can work together to build a world that aligns with their aspirations and fosters sustainable growth for generations to come.”
Beyond academics: MENA youth champion values-based learning for a compassionate society
When asked about education and school curricula, MENA youth prioritize personal values and virtues (24%), such as respect, acceptance, solidarity or empathy, and interpersonal and teamwork skills (11%), such as communication or social skills, as opposed to traditional academic subjects. They emphasize understanding, debating, and prioritizing values in education, urging educators to transform teaching methods for harmonious living. Traditional disciplines still matter, but personal values (45%) and practical life skills take precedence. Schools play a crucial role in incorporating community-building and shared values into curriculums, fostering a cohesive and compassionate society. In the MENA region, environmental education (5%) is less prominent than in Europe, where it accounts for 27%. 
Peace takes center stage: the aspirations of MENA youth for a united world
Peace stands as the paramount priority for youth worldwide, and this holds true for MENA youth as well. The longing for peace and reduction of wars and conflicts deeply resonates with young people in the Middle East and North Africa when envisioning the world's future. These concerns prominently emerge in their responses to questions probing the potential trajectories of our global society.
MENA youth: differing priorities in the face of failure and success
A considerable 30% of respondents harbor a deep-rooted fear of failure, encompassing concerns about unfulfilled dreams and lack of success. This theme indicates high personal and professional aspirations and anxiety about setbacks. When envisioning their future, 25% of MENA youth prioritize individual success, followed by personal happiness (14%). This contrasts with Western Europe and North America, where financial situations are prioritized, mentioned by over 30% of participants compared to just 9% in MENA. These variations in priorities suggest that parental expectations can impact the youth's views on success and happiness.
MENA youth: balancing global concerns, identity, and sacrifices for a sustainable future
The Youth Talks consultation highlights the collective aspirations of youth worldwide to address global challenges, with youth-led initiatives fostering collaboration and innovation for a sustainable and equitable future. Environmental concerns vary across regions, with Europe placing greater importance on the environment (33%) than Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and North Africa (15%). MENA youth view environmental issues as primarily affecting 'the world' rather than their personal lives.
MENA youth are less willing to sacrifice material consumption (6%) compared to European youth (26%), focusing more on personal resources (18%) and activities (20%). They are unwilling to compromise personal values and virtues (21%) and family connections (18%), indicating a stronger connection to their identity than Western peers.
Key findings:
● Values and virtues play a crucial role in the lives of MENA youth, both in education and personal life.
● Peace and the reduction of wars and conflicts are significant concerns for MENA youth when envisioning the world's future.
● Personal success and happiness are top priorities for MENA youth, contrasting with Western Europe and North America, where financial situations are mentioned as a priority.
● Environmental issues are important to MENA youth, but they do not establish a direct connection between the environmental crisis and its potential impact on their own lives.
● MENA youth show a willingness to sacrifice personal comforts and allocate personal resources for a better future but are less willing to give up material consumption compared to European youth.

Posted by : Editorial Team
Viewed 14686 times
PR Category : Banking & Investments
Posted on : Friday, October 20, 2023  4:12:00 PM UAE local time (GMT+4)
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