A total of 72 school students from across the country gathered for a forum in Seoul last week and demanded the government grant students aged 13 and older voting rights in the election of educational superintendents. They also requested that relevant ministries standardize educational programs for elementary school students to learn about elections and voting rights.
The demands came at the Korea Child Conference held Wednesday through Friday in Seoul, where children held fierce, logical and reasonable discussions. “We have every right to be respected. We are not an object of ignorance or indifference. We are not to be subject to force, violence or verbal abuse,” said Cho Ye-rin, a 12-year-old participant from Ansan in Gyeonggi Province, as she read the resolution adopted at the annual meeting.
She said the resolution, which contains six other requests by young people reflects the results of a serious and passionate discussion of their hope for positive communication with the world. The resolution also calls for the government to expand child policy departments, establish youth helper sections and launch a program where elite school students and non-elite school students can get together and share friendship.
Their demands were delivered to ministers of health and welfare, education and science as well as gender equality and family affairs. Participants will audit the outcome of their requests at next year’s congregation.
During the three-day session, the attendants listened carefully to what panelists said and had heated debates. Sometimes, they raised their voices and their debates were stalled when they failed to find a compromise, but most of time, patience and tolerance as well as encouragement dominated their discussion.
Full Article: Children demand vote in education elections: Seoul.