Fifth grade students stage a mock sitting of the House of Assembly on Friday as Speaker Corine George-Massicote presides. (Photo: GIS)

Nineteen fifth graders from Ebenezer Thomas Primary School got a taste of leadership on Friday when they took part in a mock sitting of the House of Assembly.

Led by teacher Candia McFarlane, the students took turns acting the role of the premier as they proposed two constitutional changes and related budget allocations, according to Government Information Services.

School visit

The sitting was conceived when Speaker of the House Corine George-Massicote visited the school to hear students’ presentations. Ms. George-Massicote then invited them to present their ideas in the legislative building. The session was designed to mirror an authentic HOA sitting, with Ms. George-Massicote presiding and the clerk, deputy clerk, and sergeant-at-arms assuming their regular roles, according to GIS.

Guests included several HOA members: Education, Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Sharie de Castro; Opposition Leader Ronnie Skelton; Junior Minister for Culture and Tourism Luce Hodge-Smith; and opposition member Julian Fraser. During the session, Mr. Fraser expressed delight in seeing a school from his Third District pioneering the initiative, and Ms. de Castro noted the importance of the girls’ participation on International Women’s Day.

Ms. Hodge-Smith and Mr. Skelton offered words of encouragement before Mr. Skelton moved to adjourn the sitting.

‘Critical thinking’

Government stated that the experience “not only provided students with a deeper understanding of governance but also encouraged critical thinking and public speaking skills.”