First Speaker with a disability elected for Children’s Parliament

Jeanette Chabalala, News24

 (Dan Calderwood, News24)

(Dan Calderwood, News24)

Bloemfontein – Jean-Claude Smit, 17, a deaf pupil from De La Bat School in the Western Cape, has been elected as the first Nelson Mandela Children’s Parliament Speaker with a disability.The Department of Social Development described Smit’s new role in a statement as a “progressive step in the advancement of the interests and rights of people with disabilities”.

The department said this year’s Children’s Parliament, held at the Free state Legislature, will tackle issues surrounding the protection of children.

The newly minted Speaker said he wanted to use his term to help find ways to help children who face challenges at home.

 “Many children are exposed to bad things in their homes, like abuse and parents who abuse drugs and alcohol. These children then bring their experiences to school, leading to bullying, peer pressure and the formation of gangs in schools,” he said.

The Children’s Parliament sessions will end on Wednesday.

2015-10-06 22:05

Students take to Parliament

CPUT students examined their challenges at the second annual Student Parliament held at the City of Cape Town Council Chambers.

Delegates who attended the parliament are representatives of student structures and societies across all CPUT campuses.

The Student Parliament creates a platform for students to hold the Central Student Representative Council (CSRC) accountable and to engage it on the university’s state of affairs.

Among other decisions, the parliament resolved that the CSRC must have an integrated program to overcome student hunger on all campuses and that it should solicit financial assistance from the university’s Executive Management.

It also agreed that the CSRC should have a bursary for academically deserving students and not deviate from the Council resolution that no academically deserving student should be deprived an opportunity to study due to financial exclusion.

The parliament endorsed a recommendation from the CSRC that the university introduce a refundable deposit, which every student should pay when moving into a residence. In the event of any damaged caused to the property by a student, the deposit will cover the expenses.

Student Development Officer Bernard Sebake also challenged the students to discuss the role of student governance in taking CPUT from a good to great institution.

“What important milestones have student governance achieved in the past 10 years,” asked Sebake.