Abu Dhabi: The UAE will establish its first school elections in September where young people aged 10-18 can stand to become a Member of School Parliament, and vote for who they want to represent them on a national platform.
“This is a really exciting development for the UAE’s schools, as they move to a more democratic model where pupils can elect their peers and have a greater say on the issues which affect their lives and their community,” said Ahmad Abdullah, a secondary school student.
Abdullah added the UAE School Parliament offers a brilliant opportunity to promote the voice of pupils at a national level. “The Youth Parliament helps students learn new skills and gain confidence while campaigning for change on issues which matter most to them.”
One of the issues of concern to Saeed Abdul Malek, a Dubai school pupil, is school bullying and I look forward to debating it in the School Parliament.
“The School Parliament helps students raise important issues and represent the voice of their peers in the parliament’s sessions,” Abdul Malek said.
Humaid Salem, a 17-year-old student, said the School Parliament supports students in getting their voices heard regarding any new legislation or government decisions, especially those which affect their lives.
Salem looks forward to running in the School Parliament’s elections as he thinks he has the skills and personal properties required. “Having a cool head, cooperative attitude and capability to balance different views may make me a successful MP,” Salem said as he laughed.
Salem added he will press for better schooling and school environment. “The Education Ministry and other authorities need to listen to our concerns. The School Parliament will offer a unique opportunity for pupils to bring about the change they wish for,” he said and called upon his peers to stand and vote in the coming school elections.