Cayman’s next wave of law-makers and diplomats took to the Legislative Assembly today (12 March) to see what it’s like to be an elected representative.
It was part of the 11th annual Youth Parliament, showing Cayman’s youth what life in the LA is all about.
“It was [a] very educational experience and it was very enjoyable for someone of my age, to be able to listen to these other students speaking about important issues for our country” said student Sanaa Archer.
Ms. Archer and other students from across Cayman’s schools all watched as their peers learned how Cayman’s government works.
“Does any member wish to speak.”
It was part of Monday’s youth parliament proceedings, the first topic debated, reintroduction of A-level qualifications in the public school system.
“I came from a public school and moved to a private school, specifically so I could have more opportunities in school and I believe that the a level system is very beneficial, but I believe that the opposition had many important points as well,” said Ms. Archer.
“A level programmes are not without their problems, where students are coached to pass exams, rather than to understand the content,” said David Swan, Opposition member.
Youth Parliament opposition member David Swan, representing Savannah said he hoped what is debated makes it into the real LA.
“To be honest, I feel like if we did so well, we might even make a difference really, but probably not, sometimes you never know, they might discuss it in the real opposition, the real government might discuss it,” said Mr. Swan.
On the Government side, Tamzar Dawkins, acting as the Minister of Health, Environment, Culture and Housing, said when the opposition applies pressure, the government has to have its facts straight.
“You have to make sure that your points are clear and that you don’t repeat yourself or you don’t go contradictory [with] someone on your side because then [the opposition] will pick it up and use it against you,” said Mr. Dawkins.
Chairperson of the Youth Parliament Committee, MLA Barbara Conolly, said it is a good opportunity for the youth.
“It’s not as easy as people think, representing the people in that, you come in here and you hear a lot of arguments back and forth, but at the end of the day, we’re working very hard to make policy,” said Ms. Conolly, MLA for George Town South.
Youth parliament is held every year.