Jamaica News: The House of Representatives on Tuesday (November 20), took note of the recommendations emanating from the recently held National Youth Parliament of Jamaica (NYPJ).
The ninth sitting of the NYPJ was held on Monday, November 12, 2018, at Gordon House.
At the event, the youth discussed issues in the areas of National Security, Reform of the Electoral System and the potential for the utilisation of information and communications technology (ICT) in agriculture and education to propel economic growth and job creation.
In a statement in the Lower House, State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, urged the parliamentarians to give serious consideration to the recommendations made.
“In the area of national security, the NYPJ called for the Stay Alert App to be transformed into a system that is equipped with the ability to send alerts regarding issues of emergency and security to mobile users who do not have access to data,” Mr. Green said.
He said the youth called for greater focus on mental health by investing in more clinical psychologists and by making rehabilitation in juvenile facilities mandatory.
“There was also a call for mandatory mental health screening of all students at all levels of the education system, and they suggested this be part of their regular back-to-school medical examinations,” the State Minister said.
In the area of ICT, the youth parliamentarians called on the Government to implement an electronic agriculture system that focuses on using ICT to create sustainable agricultural and rural development.
“One of the calls was that the Universal Service Fund consider the implementation of a levy on entities such as WhatsApp. They also called for an investment in ICT for our wards of the State and for mandatory programming to be taught to our wards,” Mr. Green said.
On the subject of reforming the electoral system, the NYPJ recommended that there must be a limit of two terms or 10 years for the Prime Minister and a mandatory age of retirement for Members of Parliament and Senators at 75 years of age.
“Already, I have engaged in discussions with the Director of Elections regarding the proposals around electoral reform, and they have promised to set up a round-table discussion with the Commission and members of the Youth Parliament, so that their ideas can be further brought to bear,” Mr. Green noted.
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