(PRESS RELEASE) – It was a candid and informative exchange as Youth Parliamentarians joined Cabinet of Ministers at their regular Cabinet meeting on Monday.
The Ministers got a chance to meet their junior portfolio holders, ask questions, give advice and discuss various aspects of governance.
The 17 Youth Parliamentarians, Junior Speaker of the House and Clerk of Parliament are gearing up for the first sitting of the National Youth Parliament on Tuesday 18th February 2020 spearheaded by the National Youth Council. After months of training and engagement, selected persons from around the island will fill the seats of our highest chambers, the House of Assembly.
Shyne Savoury, 15, who is the youngest among the selected for the debate expressed how forums like these are important and provides an opportunity to make a valid contribution to decision making.
“This opportunity was really beneficial to us because we were able to hear from the actual parliamentarians who do this as their profession, we got to hear about their experiences and the proceedings. It was beneficial to us because we were able to internalise it and see the importance of what we have been training to do.”
The Youth Parliamentarians will serve a tenure of one year where they will be expected to engage in training, youth advocacy and community outreach. Shavonne Bryan, who will serve as Prime Minister and Minister of Finance went on to give details about the papers being laid at the House on Tuesday of this week.
“The motion that will be tabled in parliament tomorrow is one that will deal with education reform focusing on technical and vocational training and the abolishment of the Common Entrance Exam”
Castries North MP Honourable Stephenson King imparted some knowledge as the session wrapped up.
“To whom much is given, much is expected. To those of you who may be called upon to serve, it is indeed an honour. You are a ray of hope for the future and when we ultimately step down from the stage, it gives me hope that the country is in the hands of persons who love their country.”
The Youth Parliamentarians got a chance to meet with Prime Minister Honourable Allen Chastanet who promised to invite them back to follow up sessions with Cabinet. The Cabinet of Ministers also wished the young people the best of luck at Youth Parliament. At the end of the session, the Ministers gave each Youth Parliamentarian a token of appreciation in the form of a Saint Lucian Flag Pin.
The Saint Lucia National Youth Parliament will take place on Tuesday February 18th 2020 from 10:00 A.M under the theme “New Faces of Democracy.” The sitting will broadcast live on National television Network and the government of Saint Lucia Facebook Page.