Tokayev calls for comprehensive national policy to improve the lives of Kazakh youth

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev urged during a December 10 ceremony marking the end of the Year of Youth and the start of the Year of Volunteer the formation of a new national youth policy to more actively help steer the nation’s young people toward productive activities, reported

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“Less than a quarter of young people know about youth resource centres in the regions, and only five percent used them. Youth organisations should deal primarily with this category of young people,” he added.

He also noted that the number of youth no longer in education or unemployed is growing.

“Unfortunately, the number of so-called NEET youth (Not in Education, Employment or Training) is growing. They do not study or work and do not want to either. According to sociologists, over 20 percent of young people are forced to stay at home after graduation,” said Tokayev during the ceremony at the former EXPO 2017 site.

Tokayev added the country needs additional initiatives to help steer youth back into education and employment.

“In our country, freedom of conscience is guaranteed by the Constitution, but it should be remembered that Kazakhstan is a secular state according to the basic law. A deep faith in the omnipotence of the Almighty should contribute to the spiritual self-improvement of our citizens, especially young people, but should not be exposed. It is extremely important that all youth movements be aimed at a certain goal, but not carried out for show. We need real public initiatives and projects that deal with specific young people’s problems,” said the President.

To address the issue, Tokayev urged the development of a comprehensive youth policy.

“State bodies should pay great attention to tasks aimed at supporting youth. I believe that, first of all, we need a new comprehensive programme on youth policy. It should take into account current global trends and youth needs. The general concept for youth policy was developed 20 years ago. Currently, in this area there are a lot of programmes of various directions. Therefore, we need a comprehensive approach to youth policy,” said Tokayev.

In addition, the new programme should include mechanisms for quality education, employment and housing. The government will present the finished bill in 2021.

Tokayev also instructed to increase undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students’ stipends. From Jan. 1, the stipends will increase by 25 percent. Since September, the stipend of 122,000 students, who study for blue collar work, has already been increased 30 percent.

The Year of Youth was marked by initiatives to improve affordable housing, education, employment, entrepreneurship and support for young families. Additional programmes are planned for the upcoming Year of Volunteer.

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