1.3 National youth strategy
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Strategy of the Slovak Republic for Youth for the years 2021- 2028 (2021) was introduced in November 2021 as government's decree and came into force in December 2021.
The Strategy of the Slovak Republic for Youth for the Years 2021 - 2028 (hereinafter also the “Youth Strategy) defines key areas, objectives, measures and indicators aimed at improving the quality of life of young people. It is based on knowledge and evidence of the real needs of young people and is the result of a constructive dialogue between young people representatives of public administration, regional and local government, and the non-governmental sector. Within two years, more than 300 entities from all over the country were involved in the ongoing consultation processes in the preparation of the Strategy. It s based on basic principles such as dignity, justice, equality, respect and autonomy, and is also based on the principles of active participation, inclusion and equal access to opportunities.
Youth Strategy 2021 - 2028 key areas:
Young people as the centre of interest of the society and politics
Taking young people's needs and interests into account in policy-making is a key prerequisite for achieving effective solutions to the problems of our society. Regular identification and evaluation of needs and interests of youth and their subsequent reflection in public policy-making remains a key precondition for knowledge and evidence-based decision and policy-making.
- to take into account the needs and interests of young people;
- to improve inter-ministerial and cross-sectoral cooperation for the implementation of youth policies at all levels.
Youth participation has many dimensions - participation of young people in social events, participation in elections, participation in the formulation, implementation and evaluation of public policies, community life, involvement in non-governmental organizations, etc. Promoting the participation of young people it is an investment in the education of active, responsible and democratically minded citizens. Youth organizations have an irreplaceable place in promoting young people's participation.
- to increase the level of participation of young people in society;
- to increase the level of participation of young people at schools.
Youth Work and Leisure Time
Youth work in all its forms serves to empower young people. It brings them a unique advantage in the transition to adulthood, provides them with a safe environment for gaining self-confidence, for engaging in community life, and for learning in an informal way. Youth work provides young people with the opportunity to acquire key civic, personal, professional, work and business competences and skills. In some cases, youth work is a bridge to education, lifelong learning, training or work, and helps to prevent social exclusion. Youth work in all its forms (including street work), taking into account diverse needs and the interests of young people, in different places (including rural areas, settlements, excluded developed districts, etc.), also acts preventively against socio-pathological phenomena and radicalization of youth and promotes social inclusion and democratic principles.
- to improve the quality of youth work;
- to create conditions for safe, accessible and active leisure time of young people;
- to ensure targeted, transparent, sustainable and affordable funding of youth work.
Volunteering has a direct impact on the formation of young people and their values, on increasing their interest in the environment and the society in which they live. It promotes active citizenship, intergenerational relations, is means of personal development of a young person, provides space for self-realization and opportunity discover your own potential. It is a tool for acquiring and developing skills, it contributes to increasing employability of young people.
- to increase the involvement of young people in volunteering at home and abroad.
Inclusion, Equality and Non-discrimination
Youth work is based on fundamental principles such as dignity, justice, equality, respect and autonomy, while being based on the principles of active participation, equal access to opportunities. That is why inclusion, equality and non-discrimination are not just goals Strategies, but also a horizontal principle, which must be applied in all areas of youth work.
- to apply the principles of inclusion, equality and non-discrimination in working with youth.
Developing and strengthening young people's key competences for both work and private life it is a necessary precondition for achieving a state in which every young person will be able develop their full potential. Informal, cross-cutting, intergenerational, intercultural and community education, as well as other forms of youth work, are an indispensable space for young people, where they can acquire key competencies.
- to develop and strengthen key competences and reduce competence inequalities;
Youth work, including non-formal education, street work and volunteering an irreplaceable in creating programs and support mechanisms aimed at developing the necessary competencies and gaining practical experience in order to improve employability of youth.
- to promote affordable, quality and motivating employment for all young people.
Education plays an important role in accompanying young people in a rapidly changing world and building the necessary digital competences. Representative research on high school students has confirmed that young people subjectively perceive that the world is changing much faster than ever before. The role of public institutions and relevant actors is to take action to support them in a rapidly changing world. Important example is the COVID19 pandemic, which has had a major impact on the lives of citizens throughout the world. Digital skills determined the success rate and divided society into those who were able to adapt immediately and those who needed help, possibly for a longer period of time, or they could not adapt at all.
- to promote responsible and secure digital transformation.
Sustainability and the Green Future
Young people are the future of our society and they will be the ones most affected by the effects of climate change. It is therefore necessary to create space for the involvement of young people in creating and preparing a vision for the transformation of society with a view to achieving climate neutrality in terms of the European Green Deal.
- to promote a sustainable and green future for young people.
Healthy Lifestyle and Psychical Health
Physical, cognitive and psychosocial changes that young people go through during adolescence affect their thinking, decision-making and interaction with the outside world. Promoting a healthy lifestyle and well-being of young people should therefore be geared towards providing information and counseling services, as well as creating and maintaining a supporting environment. At the same time, it is necessary to create conditions for the active participation of young people in preparing and implementing steps aimed at improving their health and maintaining a healthy lifestyle style, with movement, sport and cultural activities playing an important role.
- promoting a healthy lifestyle and mental health of young people.
The central state administration body that has a coordinating role in fulfilling strategic goals is the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic through the relevant department in cooperation with the National Institute of Education and Youth. Ministry for the purposes of the implementation of the strategy, as well as its evaluation, establishes an Interdepartmental Working Group for State Youth Policy (hereinafter "MRPS"), which consults on the policy objectives and measures of the state policy towards youth and which is also involved in the actual implementation and monitoring of the implementation of the strategy. In addition, MRPS members regularly communicate about the opportunities provided to young people within individual departments and sectors. Besides MESRS, other bodies within the public administration are involved in the implementation of the strategy (state administration institutions, but also local government) and the private sector and the non-governmental sector through their activities. Individual subjects also take into account the direction of the state youth policy in developing initiatives and projects that include the youth policy objectives set out in this strategy.
Evaluation of Youth Strategy
The fulfillment of objectives is deducted and evaluated on a regular biennial basis. In the middle of the implementation of the Strategy, its in-depth evaluation will take place, within which it will be possible to revise the individual tasks, or to propose new tasks arising from the current situation and needs. In addition, a comprehensive analytical document, Youth Report, will be prepared, which will provide a detailed view of individual strategic areas.