‘LaunchPad’ plans to propel youth employment in Nagaland

Er Zale Neikha, Advisor to Department of Youth Resources & Sports speaking during the launch on August 18. (Morung Photo)

Er Zale Neikha, Advisor to Department of Youth Resources & Sports speaking during the launch on August 18. (Morung Photo)

Vishü Rita Krocha
Kohima | August 18

Nagaland has the highest rate of unemployment in India with 21.4% as per the Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation (MOSPI), Government of India.

Highlighting this during the launch of LaunchPad e-learning website (www.launchpadnagaland.com) at YouthNet main office on Tuesday, Er Zale Neikha, Advisor to Department of Youth Resources & Sports mentioned the lack of proper guidance at an early stage as one of the lading causes for youth unemployment in the state.

Addressing the launch, he said that since 1986, the department has been focusing on the upliftment of youth, in recognition of the fact that Youth Development is a multi-faceted concept and that the progress of our state depends on the way through which the youth are to be encouraged and nurtured towards nation building activities and economic progress.

The department, he said, “emphasizes not only in the field of sports and music but also in other youth centric activities so it has come together with YouthNet to embark on a new venture.”

Further stating that the department has always had an ambition to come up with how to go about in bringing about positive changes in the life of the youth in Nagaland, he said “this is where YouthNet comes into play.”

Targets over 2000 students in 12 districts
The LaunchPad Program will impact students who are currently pursuing their 12th standard in 44 Government Higher Secondary Schools, targeting over 2000 students across 12 districts wherein they will be given the opportunity to discover themselves, where their strength lies, and be exposed further to job fairs and melas which, the Advisor asserted, “is the need of the hour for successful young Nagas.”

“It is my hope and prayer that this program, together with the joint efforts of the District Youth Resource Officers and Resource Persons will make a drastic change in molding the lives of many of our Naga youths”, he said.

Zale also expressed appreciation for the support and positive response received from the Department of School Education without which, he said, the program would not have been easy to take off.

“I wish each and every one involved the very best for the new venture and encourage each one to put in your best efforts to make the program a grand success”, he added.

‘The right moment’
Also speaking on the occasion, Principal Director of Department of School Education, Shanavas C, pointed out that “we think about our careers and skill development only after graduation, and then you go for skill development courses, career guidance, but by that time your personality is already developed.” “So this is the right moment”, he said referring to LaunchPad covering all the government schools.

Stating that there are about 4000 students, he emphasized that the program will become a success when all the students are covered. Students in remote districts, he said have been complaining about connectivity. But despite challenges, he said we have to move ahead and assured the support of the department even with their limited capacity and infrastructure. “Let’s show Nagaland that we can do it and work together for it”, he said.

Secretary, Youth Resources and Sports Department (YRS) Alun Hansing extended appreciation to the YouthNet team for coming up with the concept of LaunchPad while expressing hope that it would benefit the students in many ways and enhance their personal edification and intellectual enrichment. After the pandemic, he noted that things are going to change in many ways and lauded YouthNet for doing this very scientifically and futuristically.

Hekani Jakhalu Kense, Founder of YouthNet said that having worked with young people in the last 14 years, ‘to a certain extent, we understand the pulse of young people.’ With the world going digital during this pandemic, she exuded hope that they would carry digital learning forward even after the pandemic.

Earlier, Nuneseno Chase, Director- Programs, YouthNet gave a highlight of Launch Pad Career Guidance and Employability Skills Development Program, an initiative of the Department of Youth Resources and Sports in partnership with YouthNet and supported by the Department of School Education. It has been designed in such a way where students can learn anytime, anywhere and they will be mentored on Self Exploration, Life Skills, Understanding Career Development, Discovering Opportunities, and eventually Building a Career. At the end of the course, an education and career fair would be organized in the state capital of Kohima in the month of March or April 2021.