Following states around the world, the UAE is preparing to launch its first Youth Parliament for primary and secondary school students from across the Emirates.
With plans to hold elections after the beginning of the next school year, the Youth Parliament will include committees on education, culture, media and communications, environment and sustainable development, youth and sports, scientific research, law, political affairs and international relations, health and housing.
Speaking last week, Acting MoE Undersecretary Ali Mehad Al Suwaidi advocated on behalf of the host of skills and attributes young people will have the opportunity to develop:
“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.”
Young people across the globe are already participating in their thousands in the youth parliaments of their own states. When implemented with genuine conviction and a desire to enhance youth participation within states that typically favour the voices of the older generation, they provide the space for youth to make their voices heard, often for the first time and provide a fantastic opportunity for the youth to learn through action.