First Session of the First Sitting of Bhutan Children’s Parliament (BCP) concluded on January 8, and it passed 21 resolutions in a joint sitting. The closing ceremony of the BCP was graced by the Minister of Works and Human Settlement, Lyonpo Dorji Choden, the Chief Election Commissioner and heads of political parties.
Addressing the gathering, Lyonpo Dorji Choden said that in a democracy, everyone must know how to shoulder the fundamental rights and duties and to further work towards making a vibrant democracy. “Bhutan Children’s Parliament is one of the best ways of grooming our future leaders,” she said.
BCP discussed the need for education reform and enhancing the quality, the problem of youth unemployment, teenage pregnancy and the need to streamline Dzongkha as a core subject, among the many issues and agendas discussed during the session.
From the 21 resolutions passed by the Bhutan Children’s Parliament, one is to reduce the school enrollment age from 6 years to 5 years, if not, to make the enrolling age at 6 in both the private and government schools.
Another resolution is to include Dzongkha as a core subject from PP through high school level, and until 3rd year of college which does not fall under the category of Rigzhung college.
BCP also passed a resolution calling for more stringent rules on alcohol sale and a check on drugs.
It also called for the Ministry of Health to conduct more awareness programs on teenage pregnancy and to find the ways to include parenting counseling. BCP also passed a resolution calling for strict rules on wearing the national dress.
There is also a resolution passed on establishing a Youth Harmony Village in every district, which in the long run is to facilitate the youth in gaining productive skills. A resolution also calls for Bhutan Children’s Parliament to meet once in every two months through video-conferencing either via Facebook or We Chat ,which the Election Commission of Bhutan is to help set up.
National Assembly Speaker of Bhutan Children’s Parliament, Tsheten Dorji, said, “It is a good experience for all of us, we learnt a lot from it and now we will work towards fulfilling all our resolutions.” He added that BCP has helped to educate the youth on democracy and it gave them the chance to meet with political party leaders and other officials in the country.
Chief Election Commissioner, Chogyal Dago Rigdzin , said, “It is one way of fulfilling His Majesty’s vision of a vibrant democracy. Election Commission will continue to organize Bhutan Children’s Parliament for decades.”
He added that with the support from the Ministry of Education, Election Commission of Bhutan will work towards establishing a Democracy Club in every school in Bhutan. “Bhutan Children’s Parliament must always work as apolitical, for the benefit of the nation now and thereafter,” he further said.
The 21 resolutions will be submitted to the His Majesty the King and to the government. “We not only chose issues in the interest of youth, but issues that will contribute to the welfare of the nation,” BCP National Assembly Speaker said at the closing session.