By Portia Sigauke
As schools opened last week, l caught up with high school pupils to ask them what they knew about Junior Parliament and how they were benefiting from its existence in addressing children’s issues.
Melanie Dube, a lower sixth pupil at Kuwadzana High 1 said she knew of the existence of Junior Parliament but pointed out that she doesn’t know much about it and how students are elected to become Parliamentarians. She stressed that at her school they haven’t had anyone come in to brief them about it.
Kudakwashe Magundu also from Kuwadzana High 1 said he knows about the existence of the Junior Parliament but rubbished it as a waste of resources as their existence is only seen at state functions but on the ground they were not doing much to advance the concerns of children.
He said that Junior Parliamentarians have not been effective in carrying out their mandate as they get to sit in Parliament during the annual Junior Parliament opening session on June 16 only and have no real power.
Nyasha Musengi a Form 3 pupil at Queen Elizabeth said Junior Parliamentarians were doing nothing, only wearing a badge to identify them to the public. She said a lot is needed to be done in terms of involving young Parliamentarians to participate with their senior counterparts, practically tending to issues affecting children in society.
Tatenda Mbira of Mufakose High 1 alleged that Junior Parliament is meant for the elite as most children who are in Junior Parliament come from well off families and children from rural areas are not involved even though they are the worst affected by the choices made in the corridors of power.
What do you think? Is there any point in this youth body?