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2 February 2021

Project dialogP: Students in conversation with members of the state parliament

On 18 January 2021, the students of the Euro Schulen and the Euro Akademie Wiesbaden had the opportunity to discuss their concerns with members of the Hessian Parliament. The discussions took place within the framework of the „dialogP“ project, which aims to promote young people's interest in politics.

At the suggestion of Jörg Göbertshan, headmaster of the Euro Akademie and the Euro-Schulen Wiesbaden, the pedagogical director, Michael Brecker, organized the application for the exciting project. When they were accepted, the joy was great and the preparations were in full swing - after all, the students were to use the unique opportunity to talk personally with members of the state parliament and to ask questions that concerned them.

Hybrid event successfully accomplished

While this event usually takes place on site, there was a special challenge this year: the graduating classes in Hesse were in face-to-face classes, while the classes in the 1st year of training had virtual classes. The members of the Hessian parliament also participated digitally this time - which was also a new experience for the organisers of the project. So there was a lot to coordinate to make the "dialogP" project a success. After a satisfactory test run, the hybrid event format, with the support of our IT lecturer Ms El Yousfi, stood on fairly secure legs.

Students report

In the following, two students report about the exciting event of discussing with politicians at eye level.

The topics we wanted to discuss with the MPs were decided beforehand in the politics lessons. The students were divided into groups according to the topics. Two members of the Hessian Parliament also visited us at school for the event.

Topics that move young people - from compulsory masks to free public transport

Several topics were discussed with the representatives of five of the six parliamentary parties represented in the state parliament. For example, there was the question of whether masks should be compulsory at schools or whether public transport should be free for all pupils and trainees.

Before the discussion rounds began, all participants were welcomed in the main room by the moderator Ms. Amita Sarup from Kumulus e.V., who had organised the event, and it was discussed in which virtual topic rooms the individual groups had to log in. Then the MPs introduced themselves to us personally.

Even though there were minor technical difficulties at the beginning, we were still excited about what is already possible at our school in the area of digital learning.

12 minutes, one topic - with politicians at eye level

For each discussion topic there was a group of students. These now had the opportunity to present the topics to the MPs via video chat. Then they could discuss their concerns with the MPs, who changed topic rooms, for 12 minutes each.

It was a very exciting experience for us to hear the different opinions and ideas of the individual MPs on the issues. We felt taken seriously and had the impression of being at eye level with the MPs.

After the MPs had discussed the respective topic with the pupils in each topic room, at the end one could vote online whether one was in favour of or against a project.

Although the politicians could not be there in person due to the Corona pandemic, we noticed that they participated in dialogP with a lot of commitment and interest.

Therefore, all of us who participated in the online project would like to thank each and every MP once again for their interest in our issues and the time they took to discuss them.

Text: Angelina Moussa and Antonia Sesterhenn

Photos courtesy of the Hessian Parliament

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