#Jamaica, November 14, 2017 – Kingston – Approximately 100 youth from across the island will be officially appointed as National Youth Parliamentarians on Monday, November 27, during an Investiture Ceremony at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston. This announcement was made by State Minister for Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, on November 8 at Ardenne High School in Kingston, following his Motivational and Empowerment Session at the institution. He said this Investiture Ceremony is in keeping with the Ministry’s Youth Month activities during November.
In an interview with JIS News, Mr. Green said that unlike previous years, the format of National Youth Parliament 2017 will take a different form over a one-year period.
“We’re back with the Youth Parliament this year. We restarted it last year. We’re making a number of changes this year. These changes would have come on the basis of feedback that we have got from our young people. We actually have young people who are in charge of the programme, so they have met with me and told me what they want to do,” Mr. Green said.
“The big change is that our youth parliamentarians will go through a one-year training period, where they will be given proper research techniques. They will be able to really delve into what the Government is doing, so that when they make their presentations and make their suggestions, [these] are really things that may be happening or a critique of what may be happening. They’ll actually present in Parliament next year, so that is one of the big changes,” he added.
Traditionally, the focus of National Youth Parliament of Jamaica (NYPJ) was intensive training in parliamentary procedure for youth to participate in the annual mock sitting held at Gordon House.
Mr. Green also told JIS News that the NYPJ has been restructured to enable youth parliamentarians to have a more sustained engagement beyond training and a sitting of the Parliament, while building their capacities for research, policy analysis and project management. The structure for the Youth Parliament will now include the Investiture Ceremony, where the participants will be officially inducted and receive an instrument of office.
Throughout the year, the youth parliamentarians will receive training in the areas of public speaking, parliamentary procedure, policy paper writing and policy review, project management and speech writing.
Along with the Youth Advisory Council of Jamaica, they will develop work plans to focus on youth development projects in their communities and parishes, while preparing for the sitting of the Youth Parliament in November 2018.
The National Youth Parliament was initially implemented in 2003 as a Youth Month activity of the National Centre for Youth Development (NCYD). After a brief hiatus, the Youth Parliament was revamped in 2016 and has undergone further restructuring to ensure that the selected parliamentarians are better able to carry out their mandate.