Now more than ever it appears that we are addressing the key question; ‘should we involve children and young people in decisions that affect them?’ You would think that at face value many, if not all, would say yes. I mean after all, the decisions will affect the young people long after the decision makers (“grown ups”) have passed on and yet, it seems that this is still a debated topic.
As of next year autumn the right to vote at 16 in Scotland will have been passed and this seems to have sparked a big debate regarding young people and their right to be consulted, be active and recognised participates in all areas of their life.
Listening to the discussion on You and Yours (BBC 4 radio) many people commented that with age comes wisdom and this is essential in terms of making decisions. To a certain extent I agree, as you become older you are more experienced to a certain extent but this does not necessarily mean that you are any more equipped to make the correct decisions; if that was the case we wouldn’t be in the economic situation we are in now, surely mistakes are inevitable therefore consulting with young people and conducting open free discussions should help the ‘old to pass on their knowledge.
Young people are a lot more aware and in tune with society then, let’s say 20 years ago. They are more aware of financial issues etc, the host Julian Worricker brought up a great point and that was students requesting (financial education) surely this is a great and valid example of young people displaying their ability to think “grown up” and responsibly.
Other key points that were brought up was allowing young people to be consulted about their education and helping to decide which teachers are employed. It is their education, it is them who have to be in a that lesson all day every day why then should they not have a say about their curriculum and how it is being taught if at the end of the day it’s for them to use and utilise later on. During the discussion one person said that in doing this it undermines the teachers’ authority… I struggle to believe or understand this. If it is done in the right way and by that I would suggest well organised meeting with the young people where they can discuss what it is they want from their teachers and their education and more over this well thought out and questions to ask what then the problem is. Education is supposed to be interactive, to involve the students
I think it’s not the case of making the wrong choice, decisions etc it’s looking at the parties and their policies if this is the case.
In terms of education I think it goes without saying that education is for the students so why then should they not be involved and consulted if it effects them and whilst the riots was a negative display of young people grouping together it certainly showed that they are able to organise themselves and group together for a cause what we need to do is a figure out a way to channel this energy in a more positive way and I am sure that we will have great results!
Listen to the programme yourself: Give me a voice
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