The auditorium at Kendriya Vidyalaya, Pattom, was turned into the Lok Sabha for a day, for the 25 Regional Youth Parliament Competition where five competing teams vied for the top-spot to qualify for the zonal-level of the competition to be held in Hyderabad next month. Former MP and Minister for Water Resources N.K. Premachandran was the chief guest.

Dressed appropriately, with the girls in crisp cotton saris and hair set into a tight bun and the boys in formal shirts or kurtas, the contestants were well-versed in the range of affairs that were brought up in session, authoritatively making their point in both English and Hindi, adhering to the set procedures.

While Kendriya Vidyalaya schools across the country, including the ones in the State, have been participating in the programme for the past 25 years, this is the first time that a regional level competition is being conducted in the city, after the creation of the newly constituted Ernakulam region of the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan.

The five schools that took part were KV Payannur, KV Calicut, KV Kanjikode, KV Ernakulam and KV Pangode.

While the ‘Lok Sabha Speaker’ sat on a high-chair monitoring the proceedings, the MPs, with the ‘ruling party’ and the ‘Ministers’ with their various portfolios sat to the right of the ‘Speaker’ and those belonging to the ‘Opposition’ to the left. They explored, in the one hour each team was allotted, a series of issues with the Opposition targeting lacunae in bills proposed and interrogating the respective Ministers on the absence of necessary schemes.

“Watching you perform has taken me back to the days when I used to take part in the Lok Sabha and with the experience I’ve gathered as an MP and MLA, in my opinion, this is the best system of governance,” said Mr. Premachandran.

J. Premkumar, a teacher at the school who overlooks this activity, detailed that the best team is judged at the various zonal levels and the highest scorer attends a prize-distribution ceremony in New Delhi, where they repeat the performance and also get to visit Parliament hall and witness an actual proceeding.