EDUCATION is the key to a nation’s progress and prosperity, said Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir.
“The literacy rate among the youths is low in all Asian countries.
“The average literacy rates of young women and young men are 62% and 77% respectively.
“The statistics make Asia the region with the largest gender gap in literacy in the world,” he said in his opening speech at the Asean University Youth Summit 2015 at the Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) in Sintok on Tuesday.
Mukhriz added that besides youth education, the participants should also look into the aspect of youth employment and empowerment.
“I call upon the teachers and educators to train their students to think globally.
“They must not work only for the betterment of their own country but also for all humankind,” he said.
The first edition of the summit was organised by UUM Student Development and Alumni Office.
It saw some 220 participants from more than 40 higher learning institutions from eight countries in the Asean pact taking part in the event.
Themed ‘Forging 1-Asean Youth Network Through Volunteerism’, the three-day sum-mit which ended on Thursday was aimed at bringing young leaders from the region to exchange their views and make resolutions before presenting them to their respective go-vernments.
Fatima Mae Gatdula, 18, from Letran Calamba College in the Philippines brought up the issue of volunteerism during disasters.
“I think many youths are still not responding to emergency situations,” she said.
Teerawat Thongmuang, 20, from Thaksin University in Thailand, singled out the drug menace as one of common problems among youths in Songkhla.
Also present during the opening was UUM vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Mohamed Mustafa Ishak.