Sat | Sep 23, 2017

Youngsters to take over Parliament on Monday

Published:Saturday | November 12, 2016 | 11:00 AM
Floyd Green

Young persons from clubs and organisations across the island will come together for the staging of the National Youth Parliament on Monday at Gordon House in Kingston, beginning at 10 a.m.

The event is being spearheaded by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.

The National Youth Parliament was initially implemented in 2003 as a Youth Month activity of the National Centre for Youth Development. Seven sittings were held up to 2009.

It is intended to provide a forum for young people, aged 15-24 years, to express their views on various issues, to network, and to become involved in the process of democracy and governance at both the national and local levels.

SKILL DEVELOPMENT

The sitting also serves to introduce young people to parliamentary processes and procedures, while developing their skills in research, policy formulation and analysis, advocacy, public speaking, and communication.

At the same time, they will dialogue with national political representatives and review legislation and policy towards advancing the youth mainstreaming agenda.

State Minister Floyd Green said the reconvening of the National Youth Parliament provides an avenue for young people to give a voice to the issues that affect them.

"One of the things we are doing with Youth Parliament ... is that [youth] parliamentarians will serve for a year. After they have the sitting and they come up with their suggestions, the intention is that they will take those suggestions and resolutions and they will lead a campaign for that year to seek the changes that they want and see if they can bring them about," Green said.

He indicated that the participants would work closely with the Youth Advisory Council as teams of researchers on various issues.

The Youth Parliament will consist of 70 members and will include clerks to the House and press gallery members.

Clerks will provide administrative support, while press members will prepare opinion pieces and other publications of the Youth Parliament and advisory council.

Green said that the participants were recommended through youth organisations such as the National Secondary Youth Council and the Jamaica Union for Tertiary Students, as well as an open-application process.