According to the 2016 report from the Centre for Public Opinion Research, over 50% of students declared they never participate in their school council elections. Additionally, the majority has a very little sense of influence over their school or municipality at large. These are the young people characterized by a low social trust and a conviction that participation brings very little results. On the other hand, findings from the Institute for Educational Research show that students who experienced participatory involvement in the decision-making process at their school tend to be more engaged in civic life as adults. That is why we believe involving young people in the democratic processes early is crucially important.
Our project attempts engaging students from five different schools into the civic life through mechanisms of inclusion into the decision-making process. We will organize field games that will encourage participation of students, their parents, and teachers. Each school will host workshops for the design teams. We will support the teams in identifying needs at any given institution, designing and implementing participatory mechanisms (e.g. participatory budget, or mutually agreed assessment criteria), as well as implementation of the project itself. Finally, we will create a publication compiling good practices, recommendations, and ideas that will serve as an inspiration and a practical guidebook for other schools wishing to engage their students in being part of the decision-making process at their school.