By CORHEINNE JOYCE B. COLENDRES
Youth development is an important aspect of the formation of society. As the next generation that will advance what is already established, or a generation that will fix the broken remnants of what their forefathers left for them, the youth holds a pivotal role in nation-building. However, when the figures of authority who promised to uphold the standards of the youth’s development end up turning their backs against the people whom they swore to serve and protect, one must acknowledge that dark times truly lie ahead.
The National Youth Commission (NYC) Chairperson Ronald Cardema’s haunting proposal to revoke the scholarships of students who take part in alleged anti-government antics drew flak from lawmakers, citizens, and various groups.
Despite his statements, the support for the youth remains strong; people reiterated that enabling the youth to voice out their opinions on relevant matters allows them to think critically and to engage in healthy discourse. Most importantly, they echoed the importance of inspiring young citizens to care for the nation instead of growing up to become ignorant of their surroundings—a point which the NYC chair must have overlooked.
On the other hand, the issue of taking away a student’s right to education because of the exercise free speech is another matter that must be looked into. Education is the first path to building efficient young citizens. To take away something so imperative will ultimately cause the downfall of youth development. If Cardema’s focus is on students who may be linked to what he claims are anti-government groups, then they should be investigated through legal means. There should be reasonable grounds. The suggestion of taking away their education is truly unrelated.
Regardless, the chairperson’s viewpoint remains to be a distressing matter because people are forgetting the power of protest. As a supposed champion for the youth, Cardema should have been one of those people who remember how the power of protest won us our rights and our freedom.
Protests enable us to be heard and present opinions and platforms that can make things better. These actions have influenced people to take a stand for themselves and for those who could not, because something wrong is occurring. A protest is not about being an “anti” for the simple sake of being against something. A protest is about being heard and urging people to come together and rectify what is wrong.
As the next generation, the youth’s pivotal role in nation-building lies within their development as citizens of this nation. The youth is shaped by allowing them to make their own choices, to think for themselves, to speak up and stand out, and to realize the thin line between right or wrong. We will only have a better world if we finally understand that it takes a village to raise a child. F
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in Vol. 54, Issue No. 3 of the Flame. View the entire issue through this link: https://issuu.com/abtheflame/docs/pages_-_the_flame_issue_3