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Youth programmes organised by the Directorate for Public Collections and Public Education

Youth programmes organised by the Directorate for Public Collections and Public Education

The Office of the National Assembly also organises numerous youth programmes. Their aim is to familiarise secondary school children and college students with the work of the National Assembly.

A private lesson in Parliament

The purpose of a private lesson in Parliament is for secondary school children is to familiarise youth with the basics of parliamentary democracy, to provide them a glimpse of the work of the National Assembly, and to broaden their understanding of the Fundamental Law. School groups participating in the lesson can spend the entire day in the House of Parliament meeting and talking to a Member, they can become familiar with the work of the National Assembly, and they can find out more about the everyday life of MPs. Young people visit the plenary sitting, take a short tour of the House of Parliament, learn about the responsibilities of the Parliamentary Guard and participate in two activity-based games.

The democracy game

The democracy game is a full-day event, during which schoolchildren can play the role of Members of Parliament and therefore experience the work of Parliament up close. During the programme, young visitors can sit in on a model committee meeting, a plenary sitting and a meeting of a parliamentary group. They can also try out the voting system in the Upper House Hall and can hold a press conference at the end of the programme.

The aim of the programme is to galvanize young people and draw them into learning about the work of Members of Parliament by modelling the legislative work of the National Assembly. The long-term aim of the programme is for schoolchildren to acquire an interest in public life. We would like to see young people dare to express their opinions and engage in intelligent discourse on topics of concern so that they could be responsible citizens in the future. The programme requires prior preparation and active participation, during which children can improve their knowledge of communication and argumentative techniques as they work in groups.

Model Parliament

The purpose of the model Parliament is to provide university students with an opportunity to experience the work of Members of Parliament and to learn about the legislative process in practice as well. The programme enables students to supplement their theoretical knowledge and test themselves in the role of Members. The event is a two-day series of programmes, consisting of a debate day and a sitting day.

Participants in the model Parliament gain a deeper insight into the work of the National Assembly in the form of lectures during the first day, the debate day. Furthermore, the various parliamentary groups present a (fictional) profile of their own group. This is followed by introducing the proposed legislation that they have drafted. At the end of the debate day, the parliamentary groups vote together on which two of six proposed laws should be debated on the sitting day. The parliamentary groups have the opportunity to draft a proposed amendment for each proposed law by the sitting day. They debate the proposals on the orders of the day first in committees and then in the plenary sitting, after which they vote. At the end of the programme, spokespeople comment on the decisions at a press conference. 

Podium talks

Aimed primarily at university and college students, podium talks offer an opportunity to discuss public affairs of the day. During this monthly event, you can have an informal conversation with a Member of Parliament or another public figure. The purpose of the event is not to hold a political debate or to convince students, but to engage in an exchange of ideas and to introduce the speaker in a fascinating forum that is at once up close and personal.