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
- Creating a wide knowledge on basic concepts of democracy and their practice
- Providing practical opportunities to reach common objectives of national education and common skills
- Implementing a national program in schools to create peace and reconciliation in accordance with the recommendations of the report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission
- Involving school children directly on the task of nation building and regional and national development
- Developing leadership skills of school children
- Promoting the effective and active skills expected to be developed within the School Community theoretically and practically through the subject of Civic Education
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.
- Awareness on democracy and universal franchise
- Student representatives will be elected to the Students’ Parliament in the following manner
- Calling for nominations
- Conducting the poll
- Counting of votes and election of student representatives
The new generation will get opportunity to frame an idea and experience on democracy