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24.05.2004 Regional News

Parliament to form Youth Clubs in schools

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Accra, May 24, GNA - Parliamentary Youth Clubs (PYCs) would be formed in selected secondary schools as part of strategies to improve interactions between Parliament and the general public.

Mr Jones Kugblenu, Director of Public Affair of Parliament, who announced this at a two-day workshop on Parliamentary Reporting for members of the Parliamentary Press Corps at Dodowa at weekend said the exercise would begin in July and would later be extended to all other schools.

He said the pilot project on start at the Accra Academy, Saint Mary's and Amasaman Secondary Schools, all in the Greater-Accra Region, adding that it would be implemented on a full scale in at least three secondary schools in each region and gradually be extended to cover all secondary schools in the country.

Mr Kugblenu said the PYCs would serve as platforms for effective interaction between Parliament and the youth, with the view to making young people to understand and appreciate the work of Parliament and thereby encouraging them to contribute in their own way to the decision-making process.

"Through the PYCs for example, we hope to get students to make literal contributions to "The Legislature", a magazine on the activities, events and proceeding of Parliament, published by the Parliamentary Services Department.

Mr Kugblenu urged members of the Press Corps to contribute feature articles, letters and stories to the magazine.

He said Parliament placed great value on the work of the Media as its partners, adding: "We have made it a policy to train Journalists from our own resources and also assist you to take advantage of overseas training programmes."

Mr Kugblenu, however, expressed concern about the trend, in which trained Parliamentary Correspondents were either recalled from Parliament or transferred for various reasons.

"We would have wished that when we train correspondents, they stay in Parliament for at least four years so that the House can benefit from the support we offer them," he said.

He said as part of the re-designing the sitting arrangement in the chamber of Parliament this year, the Press Gallery would also be furnished with extra seats to accommodate more correspondents. Mr Kugblenu urged Journalists to be independent and objective in their coverage of Parliament, saying, "whether what you write about Parliament is positive or negative, make sure it is the truth and in the national interest".

He praised the members of the Press Corps, saying that, except for a few hitches, Parliament was on the whole, pleased with the work of members.

Mr Kugblenu asked them to come up with proposals for programmes and projects for the consideration of the Parliamentary Service Board for support.

Mr Edwin Arthur, Dean of the Press Corps, thanked Mr Kugblenu for his support and pledged that members would conducted themselves professionally both in the gallery and towards Members of Parliament.

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