Mladí rádi radním poradí
Start date: Aug 1, 2015,
End date: Nov 30, 2016
Civic participation on the decision processes in the Czech Republic is low and the civic education in this field is not satisfactory. Youth action activities are usually focusing on gymnasium students, even though studies suggests that extremist tendencies and low civic participation are more prevalent for youth with only primary and vocational secondary education. The project "Mladí rádi radním poradí" will therefore organize 14 debate seminars and 7 debates with local politicians for students of vocational and secondary schools, aged 16-18 in 7 smaller Czech cities. Oživení will contact 2 schools in each city. The students will participate in debates that will simulate real democratic decision processes on current relevant local topics. The youth will experience real political discussion, because the debates will include both coalition and opposition politicians from local municipalities. Students will thus get the opportunity to influence decisions about the discussed topic.
The project will unfold in close cooperation with social sciences teachers of the selected schools. Oživení will with their help identify important local topics, which are suitable for discussion. They will also help us to prepare study materials for students. The teachers will help to present the project to their students and they will facilitate their initial participation. Oživení will then visit the partner schools and organize debate seminars, where it will teach the students the craft of debate as well as research and critical interpretation of information and arguments about the topic at hand. Students will then be given time to prepare for the main event - the debate. In this debate the students will meet with coalition and opposition politicians, relevant experts and most importantly with the other school. Both schools will draw their opinion about the discussed topic, which they have prepared in advance. School teams then have to defend their position in a moderated debate. We anticipate that students might not necessarily defend their opinion, which will enhance their knowledge about the topic and also about the democratic decisions at the municipalities. The fact that both schools have to make a joint statement for the local politicians will teach them to compromise, which is typical for democratic decisions.
The result of the project is thus a joint statements of both schools about the discussed topic. This statement will be then presented to the politicians. Our hope is that the politicians will acknowledge the statement and that they will utilize the feedback in their decisions. The long term outcome of the project are students who can confidently shape and defend their opinions in public. Students who will have better understanding about political decisions in their communities and about the democratic processes behind these decisions. We anticipate that the students will prospectively be more interested about the decisions taken by their local municipalities.
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