A dialogue between youth and policymakers opened doors for a positive and meaningful youth engagement with the policymakers to increase youth engagement in the decision-making process. JAAGO Foundation and The Asia Foundation hosted the virtual dialogue bringing youth representatives from 64 districts and multi-party policymakers to voice youth concerns.
Three panelists from Bangladesh Awami League, Bangladesh Nationalist Party and Bangladesh Jatiya Party were present on the occasion. They encouraged the youth to be involved in the policymaking process and the education system and discussed ways to overcome various problems in the process.
Barrister Nahim Razzaq, Member of Parliament, Shariatpur-3, People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Awami League, was present. He said, “We have undoubtedly suffered because of the closure of educational institutions. But we don’t know if we are prepared to open institutions yet.” He also added, “We need to have an idea of how much internet is available at the grassroots level and provide them with the internet at a subsidized rate so that everyone can have the same facilities.” He recommended that we need a different platform or discussion about the present education system, where the responsible authorities or accountable persons like us can come and talk.
Tabith Mohammed Awal, Member- National Executive Committee, Bangladesh Nationalist Party, was also present at the dialogue. He exclaimed, “Our teachers and authorities should be trained to accept mentally depressed students and help them, and also our schools must be prepared to maintain rules of social distancing.” He spoke about accountability in the political field, saying, “Accountability is essential, but this accountability comes from both sides. Both sides must have the mindset to be accountable. We need to start with those who want to have administrative accountability and gradually expand it to all sectors.”
Ahsan Adelur Rahman, Member of Parliament, Nilphamari-4, People’s Republic of Bangladesh, agreed with Nahim Razzaq MP and said, “In our country, online education is not very realistic, because not everyone has the same economical background and facilities. This inequality will be reduced if we can provide internet access and devices through Grant and subsidized rates.” In favor of Youth entering into politics, He explains that youth participation in politics is important. It is important to have a commitment towards the country and its people, and that’s why student politics is important. We have to run advertising campaigns and guide the youth that community works can change our society. If we arrange more dialogues and discussions with youths we can motivate them to serve our country more.