18.10.2004 Regional News

Help Student develop interest in Parliamentary Affairs

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Accra, Oct 18, GNA - Mr Freddie Blay, First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, on Monday appealed to Second Cycle Institutions to help students develop the interest in parliamentary activities by encouraging them to appreciate topical national issues and contribute to them. He said through that, the youth could perceive themselves as Ghanaians whose sole aim was to achieve the best for the nation and to help propel it forward at a faster rate on the road to development.

Mr Freddie Blay was speaking at a two-day Orientation Seminar for Liaisons and Heads of Second Cycle Institutions aimed at helping them to understand the work of Parliament and its role in governance.

He said Parliament played a crucial role in identifying the needs of Ghanaians, articulating their experiences and views and determining the national agenda by participating in the decision-making process.

The First Deputy Speaker said as a legislative body, Parliament was committed to good governance that had the hallmarks of promoting the fundamental and universal human rights, free and fair elections, independent judiciary, transparency, rule of law, equity and freedom of speech.

"Since democracy and good governance are inextricably intertwined and are also bedfellows it can be safely deduced that for the consolidation of good governance to function effectively, it must depend on the development of a strong Parliament."

Mr Blay urged the schools to allot time on the curricula and calendar to enable students to listen to parliamentary debates live when the radio station of Parliament became operational.

Mr Kwadwo Baah Wiredu, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, said the decision to use students as peer leaders of the soon to be inaugurated Parliamentary Youth Clubs was laudable since it would inculcate in every Ghanaian youth the due reverence of parliamentary democracy.

He said the Ministry of Education Youth and Sports among various measures to sensitise the youth on parliamentary democracy was to provide students with copies of the "Legislature in Ghana", Parliament's official journal that explains the workings of the institutions of the Legislature.

Mr Baah Wiredu said to consolidate democracy the people's participation in the process must bear evidence of a well-informed and educated public.

He said the 2000 population and housing census report indicated that nearly 45.9 per cent of the country's adult population were not literate, indicating the enormity of the task left to be done.

Mr. K.E.K. Tachie, Clerk of Parliament, who chaired the function, said the Parliamentary Youth Clubs would help secure grassroots participation in the practice of Ghana's constitutional democracy and inspire youth participation in democratic governance.

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