The Election Commission observed that it was a need of the day to educate the students learning in secondary schools about democracy and universal franchise. This was included as a program in the Four Year Strategic Plan 2017/2020 of the Commission and steps were taken to create "Civic Education Circles" in secondary schools with the assistance of the Ministry of Education. This subject was discussed at a meeting held in July 2016 at the Ministry of Education with Secretary of the Ministry and other senior officials of the Ministry. At the meeting the Commission agreed to contribute towards the Students' Parliament implemented island wide under the guidance of the Ministry Education in place of the Civic Education Circles, because the circular issued by the Ministry of Education has clearly included democracy, its importance, franchise, importance of exercising the franchise and the Commission found that student could be educated through this instrument.
As an initial step a pilot project was implemented to educate students on democracy and universal franchise in selected schools in Kandy and Ampara districts.
Objectives of Students' Parliament
The Election Commission will support the Ministry of Education in the following activities to educate children on the basic concepts of democracy and their practice.
The new generation will get opportunity to frame an idea and experience on democracy
Under these programmes the women activists all over the island, are educated on fundamental characteristics of democracy, universal franchise and amendments to the local authorities election law. Election Commission collaborates with election observer groups in organizing awareness programs for women, and at the district level all District Elections offices are conducting workshops inland wide to educate women on the electoral process, democracy, universal franchise and amendments to the local authorities election laws.
The quota system of 25% representation in local authorities and issues of women’s participation in politics are discussed at those workshops.