It was 143 students who took up Legislative proceedings on Wednesday at the District Children’s Parliament held in connection with Children’s Day at the Old Assembly Hall in the Secretariat.
The session began with the Question Hour, most of the questions aimed at the Education, Health, Home and Food and Civil Supplies Ministers. The Members asked 23 questions on how the government planned to tackle various issues such as food security, corruption, rising food prices, child labour and abuse and terrorism.
In response to questions regarding women and children’s safety and corruption, Home Minister Sukanya said, “Strict action will be taken against offenders - the action against the convicted in the Soumya murder case stands testimony to this. And acts of corruption will also not go unpunished; any cases must be reported immediately so that the Vigilance cells can take immediate action.”
Health Minister Athira S M faced some heat from the Opposition members when Opposition Leader Sreelekshmi Sreekumar raised the issue of the dengue crisis in the state. Unhappy with both the Health Minister’s and Chief Minister Advaith’s assurances that the situation was under control, the Opposition members staged a walkout, protesting against the government’s ‘callousness’ and ‘slow response’ to the crisis and called for the Chief Minister’s resignation.
They returned five minutes later for the presentation of the Right to Education Bill being tabled by Education Minister Suraj Sunil. “This Bill seeks to ensure the right of all children between 6 and 14 years to free and compulsory education as promised under Article 21 A of the Constitution,” he said, while presenting the Bill.
The Opposition, while agreeing with the essence of the Bill, sought a few amendments. “Transfer certificates are often delayed if a child wishes to shift from one school to another,” said the Opposition Leader. “We seek that a clause be added to ensure the timely issue of transfer certificates and if there is a delay, the head of the institution must be held liable.”
Introduction of job-oriented skill development programmes and more space for arts, sports and other extra-curricular activities were some of the other amendments sought.
The participants were stuExpress News Service