Shillong: Meghalaya Assembly will soon open its doors to students in an attempt to give them first hand lessons in the running of a legislature.
Taking a cue from the provincial assembly in Ontario in Cananda where students are often invited, Speaker of the Meghalaya Assembly Charles D Pyngrope has decided to introduce a system of active participation by school students during
"Most of our young people, some of whom will someday
occupy chairs in the House, do not know what goes on in the
Assembly even though they read about it in school text books,"
The Speaker said the idea struck him when he recently
visited the provincial assembly of Ontario state in Canada
where students are taken periodically to sit next to the
legislators and and witness the proceedings.
The students are not just passive viewers, but are
made to perform the jobs of pagers like passing on stationery
to legislators or collecting notes from officers to be given
to members of the Treasury Bench.
"I was very much impressed and convinced that being in
such proximity to legislators will give the students a real
insight into the business of the House - one that a text book
cannot ever do," Pyngrope said.
During an interface with the Ontario Deputy Speaker
Bruce Crozier, Pyngrope was told that the practice is part of
the curriculum of the students and every school in the state
gets an opportunity to be a part of the house proceedings.
Announcing that the system would be introduced shortly
in the Assembly, the Speaker said that schools would be
invited to send a group of students to perform the role of
pagers in the House while the remaining would be seated in the
visitors` gallery to observe.
"This is important considering the fact that some of
our legislators themselves are yet to comprehend the
intricacies of the functioning of the House. That is not
because they are ignorant, but because they have never been
exposed to such an experience before," claimed the Speaker.