Parliament: The Joint Sitting of Bhutan Children’s Parliament (BCP) endorses the need for sex education in schools to prevent teenage pregnancy.

This is one of the 21 resolutions that the BCP passed last Friday.

Among others, BCP resolved to make Dzongkha a compulsory subject from preprimary until XII, agencies concerned to assess and enroll underprivileged students in central schools, extend counseling class and establish youth rehabilitation centre in every dzongkhag, strengthen sports facilities and to engage of alcoholic and substance abusing students in Police Youth Partnership Programme.

The Article 9 of “The Constitution of the Bhutan Children’s Parliament” says the proceedings of the BCP sessions shall be submitted to His Majesty the King, Chief Justice, the Speaker of Parliament, Prime Minister, Chairperson of the National Council and the Opposition Leader.

The BCP called for agencies concerned to strictly monitor the sale of alcohol near school campus and the need for education ministry to arrange temporary jobs for students during school break. It also resolved that business clubs be established in schools for Class VII and above students.

The Parliament emphasized the need to provide rural students with mid-day meal, to build additional youth hostel in Thimphu where students from other dzongkhags can stay. It resolved that Youth Harmony Village should be in every dzongkhag. The Joint Sitting also endorsed that ‘one teacher one subject’ policy be adopted so that teachers are given opportunity to specialize on their subjects.

The parliamentarians, who were elected from democracy clubs in the schools, are hopeful that these issues, which are prevalent in every school will be considered by the agencies and ministries concerned, especially the Ministry of Education.

Kabji-Talo MP Tashi Gyeltshen said that BCP as a forum to bring issues at the national level, the members are optimistic that the government will give due consideration to the issues and try to address them. “Had there been no forum like this, such issues would have continued to remain under the carpet,” he said.

The members also decided to conduct a videoconference once every two months through which they can keep track of development and issues. Members will share information and updates through WeChat and Facebook.

According to the rules of procedure, the BCP will be held every winter break at the Democracy House in Thimphu.

The BCP will be the apex body of democracy clubs in the country and function like the Parliament and discuss pertinent issues. Children, according to the constitution of the BCP, include all school-going children, trainees and college students who are not older than twenty-four years.

The Joint Sitting of the Children’s Parliament concluded last week.

Tenzin Namgyel