Monday Column: Mentoring can stop young people from committing crimes, experts say

Opinion Sunday 04/September/2022 17:31 PM
By: Saleh Al-Shaibany
Monday Column: Mentoring can stop young people from committing crimes, experts say

Hundreds of young Omanis drop out of education or jobs every year because they do not get the right mentoring to get out of the depressive moods that block their visions to the future, according to experts.

There are no official statistics but experts say young people do not perform well in their education or see no fulfillment in their jobs because they do not see a way out from their problems.

“Often we scold young people, criticise them and even call them failures when all they need is someone who can listen to them to what they are going through in their lives and guide them. I believe almost all dropouts from schools or colleges need mentoring to put them back on the right track,” Joe Richards, a London-based Juvenile Mental Therapist, visiting Muscat, told Times of Oman.

He added that mentoring can also shape the thoughts of young people and stop them from self-harming or even harming others, whether physically or verbally.

“They see no point in learning or even stay at work when no one really cares about what they feel or think.

These are vulnerable young people who would drive very fast and not caring whether they have an accident or not. Sometimes they commit petty crimes just to get noticed,” Richards added. Industry experts agree saying that lack of mentoring to young people can have a negative effect to young people in workplaces.

“The last thing young people need when they make mistakes in their offices is their bosses to scream at them or make them feel incompetent. The tragic is that sometimes they get fired by doing mistakes instead of being mentored and they end up doing mischief like getting into drugs,”  Omar Al Mahrooki, General Manager of Operations in the Ground Handling Services at Muscat Airport, said.

Mohammed Al Haremi, a 44-year old building construction company owner remembers when he was fired from his office when he was in his teens.

“ I was only 19 and when I was fired because I was slow with my work deadlines. All I needed was someone senior to show me how to overcome my slowness. I thought I was a failure after being fired so I went into drugs,” Al Haremi told Times of Oman.

But a year later, Al Haremi was mentored by a retired policeman who put him back into the right track.

“The police officer was my probation officer and he was with me most of the time and mentored me. I owe to him to my success now for my construction company. This shows how important mentoring is for young people,” Al Haremi added.