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Second Session of First Bhutan Children’s Parliament (BCP)

The Election Commission is pleased to inform the general public that the Second Session of the First BCP Parliament was successfully conducted from 3rd to 6th of January 2017 preceded by an orientation programme.

The agenda points for the Session were sent by the Democracy Clubs to ECB through their respective BCP representatives. All the points thus received were discussed by the Executive Committee of the BCP who decided to table a total of 23 points which were discussed in both the Houses and a total of 17 points endorsed in the Joint Sitting as the BCP’s Resolutions.

The Resolutions include proposals based on concerns regarding facilities in non-Central Schools, students’ diet, monthly stipend for boarding students, DSA allowances for students attending various programmes, flagrant printing of photos and logos of Royals, National Flag and religious personalities, recognition of subject toppers of individual subjects, resource books in schools, Driglam Namzha as a taught subject for classes 8 and below, reinstitution of Namthars in Middle and Higher Secondary Schools, quiz competitions in Dzongkha, admission of students affected by cut-off point set by the schools, Rights of Teachers, urban-rural students’ interactive programme, standardization of Names and Spellings of places and things in English and Dzongkha, Agriculture in Schools, teaching Class XII Syllabus in Class XI itself and Child Labour.

The 17 resolutions are being submitted to His Majesty The King, Hon’ble Prime Minister, Hon’ble Speaker, Hon’ble National Council Chairperson, Hon’ble Education Minister and the relevant stakeholders as a representation of the children’s views, concerns and proposals for kind consideration in the overall decision making process of the Royal Government.

It is again reminded that the Election Commission initiated Democracy Clubs in schools and learning institutions to organize events and activities that promote understanding of the Bhutanese electoral system and processes, democratic governance and the institutions, and to encourage student participation in school or educational institution’s decision-making process. This was based on the provisions of the Election Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan 2008, specifically Sections 35 (b) and 36 (f), which specify the responsibility of the Election Commission to promote public awareness on electoral matters by conducting education and information dissemination programmes or by any other means and also authorizes the ECB to implement such acts.

To take the Democracy Clubs further, the BCP was initiated with the adoption of its Constitution on 2nd of June 2015 at Punakha by the Members of the Democracy Clubs.

It is a matter for rejoicing and indeed a reassurance for the future that this platform to prepare the children for their roles and responsibilities as potential leaders through means and mechanisms in a real-life setting is gaining momentum and promoting our children parliamentarians with visible indications of active engagement, constructive participation and harmonious resolution of differing opinions based on research, debate, deliberation and consensus building which are hallmarks of a Vibrant Democracy.

The Election Commission, as an institution responsible for conduct of free and fair election and referendums, can only make efforts to fulfill its duty to prepare the present and future electorate through civic and electoral education but ultimately, genuinely and sincerely inculcating civic learning and undertaking civic engagement is the responsibility of all self-respecting citizens of the Palden Drukyul!

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