ABU DHABI // Society’s leaders of tomorrow have gathered for the first schools’ parliament at the Federal National Council headquarters.
The pupils came from all around the emirates to become members of the new parliament, a joint venture between the FNC and the Ministry of Education.
The council consists of 54 boys and girls from government schools who were elected at the start of the academic year. The pupils, seven of whom have special needs, are of different ages.
The young members elected Abdulla Saud Al Amri, 16, from Abu Dhabi, as president. “I feel excited and at the same time responsible. This is our chance to look into society’s issues and our needs to then report them to those in authority, the leadership, and decision makers,” he said.
Abdulla is optimistic about the UAE’s future. “Our country is always shining, and our country always works for the best.”
He was keen to start discussing issues with the other members. “We seek to look into the incidents and facts within all the committees to try to find solutions, using all our power. In the end, the youth are the most important investment in the country.”
The parliament’s goals are to support children’s thoughts in issues relating to the community and schools, to encourage public expression and pupils’ opinions and to develop thinking skills. They will also focus on the Arabic language, and be the bridge between pupils and administrators.
The goals will be achieved by allowing members to attend official sessions to learn more about the dynamics of parliaments and training pupils about communicating and creating channels with decision makers.
FNC Speaker Mohammed Al Murr said the vision of the parliament was to build a modern generation able to take a positive role in society. He said this experience would enhance pupils’ roles in participating in the development of the country.
He told the youngsters: “You have my complete trust in fulfilling the goals of the parliament, and I wish you all the best of luck.”
Humaid Al Qatami, Minister of Education, said the purpose of the parliament was to build personalities of the future generation, raise political awareness of the country and allow the pupils to participate in the development of the UAE.
“It is a big responsibility to the children, with no doubt, and they must be ready to handle it. And they must be ready to accept guiding and to stick to the traditions of the country when seeking solutions,” he said.
“This initiative aims to build complete personalities, and the members must be ready to continue to a mature phase in their lives.”
He said the ministry creates chances for the pupils to grow, including activities and programmes in schools.
“The ministry has complete trust that this initiative will have positive results, and the parliament will serve as a platform for students to discuss their issues and needs in,” he said.
Family members attended the session, as well as members of the FNC.