Scores of schoolchildren turned up at the Princess International Hotel, Providence, East Bank Demerara (EBD) on Wednesday afternoon to witness the opening of this year’s National Youth Parliament (NYP) debates.
Presidential Advisor on Governance Gail Teixeira
During the intense sessions, the government and the opposition sides of the House debated three motions, including one calling for legislation to stem the misuse and mischief associated with the use of social media given the sensitive socio-political nature of society.
The latter was the main topic of the debates. Presidential Advisor on Governance Gail Teixeira, who represented President Donald Ramotar at the event, told the gathering that the National Youth Parliament of Guyana is an organised, institutionalised programme that is driven by young people of the country with the aim of developing themselves and contributing to the future of the nation.
She explained that such an opportunity allows young people to become exposed to issues which are deemed critical in both local and international societies. It was noted that the NYP allows those involved to “have a voice” where their ideas are concerned and be able to share them through civil discussions.
The youths were reminded about the importance of youth programmes, such as the President’s Youth Award Republic of Guyana (PYARG), which helps to build the country through positive developments of young people.
While it was stated that government will continue to assist with available resources to help sustain and promote the NYP, the youths were urged to meet with members of the diplomatic corps and international agencies to seek funding, to help cover their expenses.
The presidential advisor pointed out that the social media promotes both negative and positive stories and urged young people to use the social media to promote positive images about their various issues of discussion and interests.
Teixeira posited that the government is very interested to hear the ideas and recommendations from the youth parliamentarians as it relates to the topic of their main debate. She said while the social media can be seen as a tool for misinforming people and could possibly lead to violence in society, it serves a useful purpose as it helps many youths to “keep in touch” with old classmates, relatives and friends who live abroad.