A protocol of creating school parliament, signed by the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Federal National Council (FNC), will groom a young generation who will be capable of performing positive and effective social roles.
Acting MoE Undersecretary Ali Mehad Al Suwaidi, who inked the agreement with FNC Secretary General Dr. Mohammed Al Mazrouie, said the school parliament initiative aims to promote political participation principles by allowing students to express their opinions on issues regarding education and community.
”The school parliament will provide a platform for exchanging views, fostering values of loyalty to the homeland, promoting community culture and values, encouraging explicit expression of points of view, sharpening skills of thinking, understanding and respect of the other’s stances, enriching students’ Arabic language and speech skills and nurturing the culture of dialogue among students themselves on one hand and between them and officials on the other.
To deliver these goals, he added that, students will be trained on how to use parliamentary tools to address decision-makers. They will undergo simulation training to ensure positive participation through presentation of their ideas about and debating challenges they are facing in learning, family and community issues, and national development, and how to recommend solutions to them.
For his part, Dr. Al Mazrouie said the FNC secretariat general will craft the school parliament by-laws which organise preparation of scientific subjects and supervision of the technical programme regarding sessions and deliberations of the school parliament which will be held in the FNC venue in Abu Dhabi. Committees may hold their sessions in other emirates.
The MoE, he explained, will set conditions in regards to voters and candidates, rules of election campaigning, vote and drop of membership.
The young MPs, he said, will have the right to demand a public debate and an urgent statement on a specific subject.
The 54-member house will have the following committees: education; culture, media and communications; environment and sustainable development, youth and sports; scientific research; law; political affairs and international relations; and health and housing.
Kenez Al Abduli, Director of Students’ Counseling, MoE, said the school parliament consists of 54 members from boys’ and girls’ schools of all levels with secondary school students taking 50% of seats, second cycle of primary education (40%) and the remaining 10% will go to cycle one students of primary education.
Membership structure of the young FNC emirat-wise, she said, will be distributed in the following manner: 10 seats for each of the emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai; eight seats for each of the emirates of Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah; six seats for each of the emirates of Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah and seven seats for students with special needs.
The MoE will oversee the elections and announce results on the first month of academic year.
The legislative term will be one year and commence two weeks after the elections.
It will go on recess one month after the school year.