Jamaica News: The Government will be considering recommendations coming out of Monday’s (November 12) staging of the National Youth Parliament.
“Coming out of this exercise, for the first time, I will table in Parliament a document that has all your recommendations, so that Parliament can take note of what the youth have to say,” said State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green.
“We will also be circulating the recommendations to the various Ministries, and we will ask and task our new (Youth) Advisory Council to be that entity that follows up on the recommendations that have been made emanating from this Youth Parliament,” he added.
Mr. Green was speaking at the opening of the National Youth Parliament at Gordon House.
Young persons from various organisations participated in the event, which was part of a slate of activities for National Youth Month.
The participants debated a range of issues, including national security, information and communication technology (ICT) and its potential for economic growth and reform of the electoral system.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Pearnel Charles, charged the young people to keep matters that affect them and others in society “at the forefront of your public thought”.
“It is necessary, therefore, that you speak with a clear and unified voice. It is necessary that you work together, that you support each other, working for what you deem to be the good of all,” he noted.
Meanwhile, speaking on the reform, Youth Parliamentarian Davoreen Gaynor, argued that reform of the electoral system is necessary to facilitate transparency and to hold political parties accountable.
She recommended that the code of political conduct be made into law and gazetted.
“It is full time we give teeth to this document. This is to consolidate penalties for persons who breach the political code of conduct. In addition to making the political code of conduct a law, the National Youth Parliament is calling for a transformation of the voting process that will appeal to our emerging generation and get on par with the digital age. These include merging the local and national elections, establishing fixed election dates, digitising the voting process to appeal to the tech-savvy electorate and implementing term limits and mandatory age of retirement for government officials,” Ms. Gaynor noted.
On the matter of national security, Brittney Elliott-Williams noted that there is need for implementation of preventive methods to curb violent behaviour in children by using a psychosocial approach.
She pointed out that tackling poor parenting has become an issue of national importance.
She recommended development of a mobile app to provide parenting information and advice and a discussion forum to exchange ideas and best practices on child-rearing.
Regarding the use of ICT, André Witter, who is hearing impaired, pointed out that technology has been successfully used to assist students within the deaf community to sit and pass their Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate English examinations.
The National Youth Parliament was established in November 2003 as a non-partisan initiative aimed at providing youth from across Jamaica with a forum to express their views, network and debate issues of concern in the House of Representatives.
Source: JIS News