Despite significant strides made in school enrollment and completion rates in South Asia, over 50% of children in the region are still trapped in what is known as “learning poverty” – meaning they cannot read and comprehend a simple piece of text by the age of ten. Additionally, there are 12.5 million primary-level and 16.5 million secondary-level children who don’t attend school. Even before the onset of COVID-19, hundreds of children all across South Asia were completing primary education without acquiring the fundamental skills of basic literacy and numeracy, let alone the 21st-century skills necessary for meaningful employment, personal well-being, and active engagement in society. Furthermore, South Asia is home to the most significant proportion of youth not engaged in any form of education, employment, or training (NEET), accounting for 30% of the global NEET population.
Enhancements in the quality of teaching, learning, and skill development have the potential to alleviate dropout rates and facilitate smoother transitions from early childhood education to primary and secondary schooling. These improvements can assist students in transitioning effectively from school to the workforce, helping secure better opportunities for their future.
The Pioneers Youth Board of Directors passed Proposition 23, which involved shifting the central theme of the organization to “Development of Quality Education in South Asia”. This comes with the aim of empowering South Asian youth to take charge of their future through quality education and developing the standard of education in the subcontinent. This transition is accompanied by several changes to the organization's structure and functions:
The organization will focus on three distinct areas revolving around the central theme: Advocacy, Research, and Community Service.
The ongoing projects within Pioneers Youth will shift their focus toward the various sub-themes identified by the Board of Directors.
The Idea Bank will focus on Research and the DCE will focus on Community Service both brought out by the Theme of Central Focus and will conduct projects accordingly.
The combined effort of the Idea Bank and the Department of Creative Engagement will be utilized for the Advocacy component brought out by the Theme of Central Focus.
Volunteers are the driving force behind this transformative movement. The organization understands the power of individuals coming together to make a difference and aims to provide them with the necessary tools, resources, and training to become effective advocates for quality education. By engaging communities, raising awareness, and fostering partnerships, we envision a future where education becomes a fundamental right and a powerful tool for individuals and societies to thrive. The significance of quality education resonates deeply with every dedicated volunteer at Pioneers Youth, given our collective experience of undergoing 14 years of formal education. Emphasizing the importance of quality education becomes increasingly vital in today’s world, where the youth actively champion educational reforms and strive for elevated standards in the system.