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Parliamentary Education program

Introduction

The concept behind the ‘PEP’ is to help the public understand the role and functioning of the Parliament, especially, the House of Federation i.e., the Senate of Pakistan. It aims to enhance the trust of the people in the Parliament of Pakistan.

The program is an immense challenge, not just to formulate and evolve, but to implement. However, the Senate Secretariat is ready to take up the challenge under the guidance, patronage and active involvement of Chairman Senate, other leadership, and the Members nominated as Resource Persons for the Program.

Background

Elected parliamentarians make decisions and laws that affect almost every aspect of their daily lives. These include decisions from what happens in schools and workplaces and what recreational facilities they have, to national issues, like economy and communication, and global issues like defense and climate change.

Parliamentary education is all about understanding how politics and elected representatives shape our daily lives. The public’s knowledge of what a parliament is and how it works is an essential ingredient towards accelerating the democratic stability and progress in the country.

In a country like Pakistan that faces many problems and challenges, a general perception of political dissatisfaction and distrust prevails across the public. The public generally believes that politics is primarily an avenue for personal gains, and that the parliament indulges in useless debates with no substantial output or action.

Unfortunately, over a period of time, there has been a systematic attempt at demeaning the Parliament. Creating such bad perceptions about politicians has been part of a larger game; to make it seem as if the Parliament is a weak and redundant institution that does not enjoy the trust of the people. Admittedly, the Parliament did not attempt to reach out to the people to counter the false propaganda. We are now working towards transparency and openness to the public, so that the stereotyping and myths can be neutralized.

By addressing these misconceptions, our efforts aim to bring forth the true positive image of the parliament. In line with our aims, the PEP aims to ‘inform’, ‘engage’, and ‘empower’ the people of Pakistan towards political enlightenment to enhance, develop and strengthen their trust in the parliament. With this initiative, the public will not just come to know that the members are working to solve their problems, but will also give ownership of the Parliament to the people of Pakistan.

Target Segments of the Society

The youth can be a creative force, a dynamic source of innovations, and they have undoubtedly, throughout history, participated, contributed, and even catalyzed important changes in political systems, power-sharing dynamics and economic opportunities. In a country like Pakistan that simultaneously faces great challenges, empowering the youth, while a huge challenge, can turn the tides for a bright future.

The program, while having special focus on the youth and students, will also have a broad focus on other segments of society such as media, civil society, lawyers, doctors, teachers, and other professionals.

Objectives of PEP

The three main objectives of PEP are to Inform, Engage, and Empower.

The objectives have been set out to ensure that:

  •    Bridge gaps and develop linkages between the public and the Parliament.
  •   Repose trust of public in the Parliament.
  •   Educate public about the function, working, potentials and strengths of the Parliament.
  •   Build a positive image and dispel misconceptions of the public about the Parliament.

 

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